Using Online MLS® Listings for First Time Home Buyers

It wasn’t too long ago that first time buyers usually started exploring the housing market with a Sunday paper. Today, it’s done online and it’s a 24/7 service. For most Realtors®, the days of advertising in the paper are over. With 95% of first time buyers are starting the home search online, a comprehensive online presence is vital to helping them find what they need.

Good Realtor® websites will have access to all MLS® listings for their area’s real estate directly on the site with a searchable feature. A good listings search will give you different ways you can sort through the listings and explore the houses advertised. There are ways that first time buyers can put these services to good use.

First time buyers can start by looking at neighbourhoods they’re interested in. Don’t worry about price at first; just look thorough Edmonton real estate listings based on where they are. Read the neighbourhood information to discover the features and benefits of each area that is situated conveniently for your needs.

Next, consider what kind of price is realistic. Take into account not just home price, but upgrades and possible renovations needed as well. If you’re looking at buying a house, then take yard maintenance into consideration. Be open to bargains, but factor in costs of repairs if you’re buying a fixer upper.

Once you know what range you can afford, take a look at the prices of homes in the best areas for your needs. If one area doesn’t have the size of home that you need at a price that you can afford, try your second choice. As you find areas you can afford, keep track of them; many realtor® websites let you bookmark your favourite listings or searches so that you can come back to them later.

After you find some homes that might work for you, take those listings and email them to your realtor®, or send them through the site. Ideally, you’ll have a sensible range of prices in a few different neighbourhoods. This gives the realtor® a lot to work with. It lets them know what appeals to you and where you’d like to live. Once they have this information, they can use their knowledge and experience to help you find a home in the most bohemian, artistic areas or in the most exclusive suburbs, whichever fits your needs and style best. So long Sunday paper!


Try a custom Edmonton area MLS® search or contact Chris Proctor via email or phone 780-438-2500 for more information.

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We recently had the opportunity to relocate to Edmonton from Halifax. We only had a limited amount of time to find a place to live and not knowing the city or the real estate market, we asked for a referral from a colleague who also recently relocated here. They recommend Patti Proctor from Maxwell Devonshire Realty.

Patti quickly arranged a meeting at our convenience to discuss our home preferences, life style expectations, whether to rent or buy, and home wish list. That evening we received an email with a detailed list of homes for us to review. She cleared her schedule and dedicated the next few days to chauffeuring us around the city, while educating us on the nuances of each prospective neighborhood we explored. We viewed quite a few homes in the short period of time and Patti made us feel comfortable and relaxed throughout the entire experience. We purchased a home and it closed on the night before we had to return home. Patti and her team guided us, via long distance, through the purchase process for Alberta quickly and efficiently, helped to arrange a home inspection, and made themselves available to questions and requests from our legal and financial agents.

Patti possesses a vast wealth of knowledge relating to local residential architectural history, home construction, city bylaws and community culture; to name a few. She and her team were always welcoming and helpful. We would be pleased to recommend her and her team to anyone considering buying or selling a home in the area.

Dan & Suzanne

- Dan Myer

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