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Why some agents cannot find listings

I've given my pretty specific search criteria (say newer than 2000 condos) to a couple of buyer agents and there were properties that I found on Zillow that they would not have in their search results. When I tell their address, they usually come back saying that they had to do a little searching but it is available and we can view them. What's going on ? Are there listing agents that some buyer agents don't like dealing with ?
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August 19 2013 - US
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Good morning,

I'd suggest two things here in response to your problem.

First, as others have posted, the devil is in the details when entering search parameters into an MLS search machine.   But, it gets worse than just entering the correct parameters!  If the Listing Agent did not correctly list the property then your agent searching with the properly-entered parameters won't find the property!

The fact the property may show up on Zillow and other sites is only a function of the LISTING posting to MLS (automatically in many cases).

Second, if your agent isn't great at organization and/or follow-through, well, maybe that's the problem.  Find other ways to test that before you make a decision on continuing to work with (or not) that agent.  

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
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August 20 2013
The MLS searches on rigid parameters.  So if an agent is looking for a Condo and it has been entered as a single family home it won't appear in their search criteria. Just as if you have said the smallest condo size you want is 950 sq ft condo and then you find one for 946. 

I had been searching waterfront properties for a client for 2 months and she found a property (which she loved) I had not because it was classified incorrectly.  It was not for lack of diligence on my behalf. Remember we only get paid if we help you buy a property.

Ask your agent why the properties you are finding are not in their search.
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August 20 2013
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Sometimes it is related to the co-op commission listed in the MLS... they assume it is not worth their time.  Obviously, if you push them on the issue, they will show it.

Some may also be "pending" but the status not updated on Zillow yet.  But in some cases, the listing agent and owner will allow a showing to obtain back-up offers.
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August 19 2013
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Ben, what kind of pisses me off is that usually my broker does find the places that I see on Zillow. I'm hesitant to sign an exclusivity agreement if I cannot trust her to send me all the listings I want. How do I know who to trust ? Almost everybody has 5 star reviews on Zillow.
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August 19 2013
Well, many things could be the case. But the rule of thumb is never trust a 3rd party source data such as Zillow, Trulia, Homes, Movoto, Realtor dot com etc. try to locate a broker who has direct access to some type of MLS within the area where you are seeking real estate and sign a short term buyer's exclusivity agreement so the agent can trust you and give you access to a Guest Entry to the MLS such as we have here in Los Angeles such as CLAW MLS provides. Keep in mind not all MLS systems have guest entry, a small advice. Work with an experienced agent who will deliver vs. talking t many agents simultaneously; that is the worst thing you cna do as none of them will put their time & effort to assist you.
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August 19 2013
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Thanks Nilou. I don't have the specific examples now, but they weren't FSBO or esoteric stuff like foreclosures or short sales.
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August 19 2013
Great question because I deal with this all the time. Some Zillow listings are for sale by owner that show up for you but not our Multiple List service. Also, depends what parameters you're requesting. Your agent might be sending you standard sale properties, while you are finding short sales and foreclosures on Zillow. Finally another reason is agents occasionally list their properties under "other/undisclosed" which falls under everything from an estate sale, to an agent who clicks on the wrong label when listing the property. As agents we want nothing more than to help you find a house. No reason for us to hide properties that would work for you unless they simply don't show up. Best of luck!
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August 19 2013
 
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