Not All Home Searches Are Created Equal

September 30, 2010

Where do you go when you are doing a home search? Hopefully you answered There are a lot of sites that advertise to the public offering a variety of real estate related information. Some offer information for people looking to buy a home, others offer more information about new construction. Some sites dangle information about homes that have sold to homeowners who want to do some research about how much their home is worth. There are many places you could go to for information, but is that information accurate and what is the cost?

Let’s say, for example, that you have a home to sell in Houston and want to buy a home in Katy. You might want to go to a site where you can search for Katy homes. Or you might want to search the entire Houston MLS (multiple listing service) so you can take a look at homes that have sold in Houston and compare them to your home. A potential home buyer or homeowner should consider the following when searching on the internet for home listings and home values.

Is the information I am receiving accurate?

Home listings should be updated regularly, and this doesn’t mean once a week. Many sites, including some of the “biggies” you see and hear on television and radio, are not consistently updated. Our site is updated several times every day. You can bet you will receive the latest information about homes for sale throughout Houston and surrounding areas, and that information is verified prior to being submitted. While you can’t find information about homes that have sold on our site, you can request this information from us and we’ll be happy to provide it to you free of charge. Don’t worry; there is absolutely no obligation to do anything and we promise not to “hound you” with countless spammy emails or sales calls.

What is the cost for this information?

There is plenty of “free” information out there. While you may not be required to submit a credit card number to search for homes, many sites request personal information such as an email address and a Is your information being sold to someonephone number. Submitting this information if you are interested in speaking to someone, or would like to be involved in a seminar or webinar, is fine, but what if you just want to take a peek at homes to see what is out there. As a REALTOR® I see this a lot, and not everyone who seeks information about home listings in Katy, for example, is ready to buy a Katy home. When you do a home search on our site, you are not required to give us any information. We encourage people to use our site because we want to be a resource to the consumer, and we want them to have accurate information when attempting to make a decision about buying or selling a home.

Who is getting my personal information?

If you go to a site other than ours to search for home listings, your personal information may be collected in many different ways. Some require a login; others will offer information in a report that can be emailed to you. When you submit your personal information where does that information go? Many of the larger sites are marketed to real estate agents as a lead generation tool. Your information may be sold to several agents who are all hungry and waiting to email or call you and explain how they can help you with your search. Some sites may sell your information to related industry professionals. We are all busy, and we all hate to open our email and see 50+ spam emails all trying to get you to buy something you aren’t Telemarketers can stalk you relentlessly once they have your informationlooking for. Submit your information on the wrong real estate site and that’s exactly what you can expect (some of us would be glad if we could keep it to 50!).

It doesn’t have to be a large search related site for your information to be compromised. I have actually spoken to real estate coaches who suggest that agents should take the information they collect and sell it to others as another source of income. Their philosophy is that if you aren’t using it you should sell it to someone else who will! We don’t believe in that policy. Someone searching for home listings on our site can do so without providing us any personal information at all. A homeowner who requests a home value report can rest assured that their information will not be sold to anyone.

We want to be a resource for all of your real estate needs. We want to provide you with accurate information; we want you to get the answers you are looking for quickly; and we want you to feel comfortable to use our site knowing that any information you give us won’t be sold to the highest bidder. If you have questions about our approach, our business practices, or the real estate market just give me a call at 832-722-7731. We are always available to help!


Stacy Jones is a REALTOR you can trust









Stacy is a licensed REALTOR® and the team leader of The Jones Team, a group of REALTORS® in Katy, who work together to provide exceptional service for their clients. Stacy and his team specialize in the areas west of downtown Houston. These incredible real estate agents can help you buy or sell a home in locations such as Katy, Cypress, far West and Northwest Houston, Richmond, Fulshear, Sugar Land, Spring Branch, Memorial, Spring, Tomball, The Woodlands, and Magnolia. Whether you are in the market to sell a home, buy a home, have a question about home appraisal value, need advice about home staging ,or have any other real estate related questions, Stacy and The Jones Team are available to help.


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All information in this site is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and is subject to change.

The information herein is furnished by the owner to the best of his knowledge, but is subject to verification by the purchaser, and agent assumes no responsibility for correctness thereof. The offering is made subject to errors, omissions, change of price, prior sale or withdrawal without notice. In accordance with the law, this property is offered without regard to race, creed, national origin, disability or gender.