If you’re looking for the best real estate site for finding property in Frisco, TX, you might think that the big portals might help, especially if you’re used to using Rightmove in the UK.
What About The Real Estate Portals That Cover Frisco?
So you might go to Trulia or Zillow and start your search there. Since they are national portals with huge budgets, the website experience is great. But there’s one thing that these sites can sometimes come up short on, and it’s a big thing – the data.
To understand the issue with the big portals, it’s worth taking a quick look at the estate agent industry here in Texas.
TL;DR version: there have been lots of lawsuits, and the best data is from MLS sites such as this one.
To sell homes in Texas you need a licence. To be able to sell effectively, you need to be part of a trade organisation – to be a Realtor and a member of your local real estate board. That gives access to the local central database so that as an agent, you can both market a home for a seller, and find a home for a buyer. So in Frisco, we’re members of the North Texas Real Estate Information System. That’s where all the homes are. It’s called the Multiple Listing Service or MLS.
If you look at the business models of the portals, they display homes for sale, and then sell advertising back to Realtors and try to pair up potential buyers with the Realtors who advertise with them. But the Realtor associations suddenly realised that they were giving their home data – all the homes for sale in their MLS databases – to the portals, and then letting the portals sell advertising to their member Realtors.
After a short “aha!” moment, they realised that they would do better not to automatically give their MLS data away for free, and gave Realtor businesses the opportunity to opt out of the “give your data away for free, and buy back advertising”, and at this point, the portals no longer have complete information on homes for sale.
Who Owns The Real Estate Data in Frisco and Where Is It?
So the people who own the data (the Realtors) now have the control over that MLS data. It’s not like in the UK where an estate agency can only show or market the properties that are part of their office – any Realtor can show any property to a client, no matter which Realtor is helping the seller.
There’s a concept of a buyers agent in Texas which is missing from residential retail property in the UK. They work for buyers for free, and help you find, view and negotiate any property. If you’re looking for a house – get one working for you at no cost.
Realtors own the most real estate data and they show it on their local MLS sites. (I’m a Realtor, and you’re on such a site now!)
Which Is The Best Real Estate Site For Frisco?
So which is the best site for finding homes in Frisco? I would say a pure Realtor MLS site rather than a portal and one that isn’t also trying to sell you a real estate agent. And if you are looking for an estate agent who understands the UK and Texas, you can’t go wrong with our Sherlock Homes Frisco homes for sale MLS site.