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Real estate websites and conventions

How does the real estate business work in your country?

     
10:21 am on Nov 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'd be interested to know what kind of real estate websites there are around the world and what are the conventions.

Are there private sellers or is the market dominated by real estate agencies? Is it even possible for a private person to sell an apartment or a house that he/she owns (maybe laws against this...)?

Where would you go if you need to buy an apartment or a house? Does every real estate agency have their own sites where they have their listings or are there larger sites that have listings of multiple agencies?
Do private people search for apartments online (or otherwise) or is it a job left for the buyers agent?

If some of you have purchased an apartment or a house, first hand experiences would also be appreciated.

10:29 am on Nov 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Personally I read the estate agent ads in the local paper while having a coffee.

For London properties the search engines now seem to be dominated by "property finder" sites that return properties from multiple agencies.

11:52 am on Nov 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Classifieds available locally (on-line or print) generate the rental markets. Locally (Texas) a number of real estate firms have large hi-tech websites. I know some brokers and they say about 20-30% of their biz comes from the website(s).
12:29 pm on Nov 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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In the US, real estate brokers and agents are moving more and more toward using IDX or RETS to list all the properties in their local MLS on their own sites, allowing visitors to perform various type of searches. But many agents still have 1990s-style brochure web sites. I have several real estate agents as clients -- some of them tell me that they get almost all their business through their site.
7:59 am on Nov 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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In South africa , the market is dominated by estate agencies . Until recently it used to be a fly night occupation with '000's of people in and out due to no regulation , but they have changed that and there is now regulation in place where you need experience and education.