The revamped HAR consumer site debuted with a splash on Valentines Day — and Houston real estate will never be the same! Over the past week, a few site quirks have quietly been ironed out (tabbed browsing now works again, for example), but there are plenty still left to enjoy. Below is Swamplot’s handy guide to some of the freakiest new HAR features — sure to excite thousands of obsessive online Real Estate voyeurs:
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If you’re trying to sell your home without an agent, how do you get your listing onto MLS? Sure, there’s Craigslist and an assortment of FSBO online catalogs you can get on easily, but most Houston homebuyers do their searching exclusively in the difficult-to-navigate MLS listings at HAR.com. If you’re not with an agent, how do you get buyers to find you online?
As of today, a whopping five Houston homesellers have discovered a secret way to sneak into MLS—by using a new free service out of Florida called Iggys House. The five listings show up when you search the Iggys House site for Houston properties. More important, though, they also show up in HAR searches. Pay no attention to the weird Florida broker listing above the property. They’re in.
What’s in it for Iggy? In Texas, nothing yet—but just wait. In five other states, a sister company called BuySide Realty serves as an agent that passes onto the buyer 75 percent of the commissions it receives. Presumably, if a buyer buys a $400,000 house using BuySide, and the seller is paying a six-percent commission (with $12K to each agent), the buyer will end up with a new house and an extra $9,000. It appears to work for 1031 exchanges, too.
The free listings, then, are just a way of trolling for potential BuySide buyers. And it means that BuySide may be operating in Texas soon.