Consumer be Wary Series: Searching for New Homes Online Fraught with Hidden Risks

Mountain Trust Realty and Mountain Trust Mortgage Announce They Have Launched a Consumer Awareness Campaign Regarding Use and Accuracy of Real Estate Search Internet Sites

San Diego, CA, August 05, 2012 --( Mountain Trust Realty, Inc. ( and Mountain Trust Mortgage, Inc. ( have embarked upon a consumer awareness campaign to ensure that prospective home buyers and home sellers know that while there are many avenues for researching real properties available for sale, the most timely and reliable information can only come direct from a qualified real estate professional.

Increasing numbers of consumers have been turning to websites on the internet to research potential properties available for sale to see if they can eliminate the need to contact a real estate professional to help them to find a new home, or alternately, to first screen properties to then contact real estate professionals to assist with viewing them. Unfortunately for many consumers, knowledgeable Realtors know that many properties listed this way have frequently already been sold.

Many consumers are unaware that professional real estate agents pay dues to subscribe to an exclusive internal online multiple listing service (MLS) that is only available to member professionals, and which lists all current properties actually available for sale.

Sarah Smith, a professional Realtor who has run into the issue with a number of past clients notes: “In order to make the best home purchasing decisions, timeliness and accuracy with regard to data is key. Many services on the internet today are a great way for consumers to conduct a preliminary survey of general market conditions. But when one is ready to move forward with a home sale or purchase, it's important to contact a qualified real estate professional to find the best choices actually still available.”

Gary Cooper, President of Mountain Trust Realty and Mountain Trust Mortgage, a recognized real estate industry consumer advocate, agrees: “These other online services may be getting their info from the real estate industry's own internal database, but unfortunately, their databases are not regulated by any state or federal agency for maintaining accuracy. The listing service we use is highly regulated. That means that it is current, up-to-date, complete, and covers all listings available, from active listings, to homes in escrow, to homes that have been sold. This highly accurate data can further present a much more accurate picture of the overall market and home values in very specific locations. All members of this service Must follow strict guidelines in inputting & updating or face losing membership.”

Smith and Cooper both note that while this database technology can be a “great enabler,” at the end of the day, when one is ready to commit to becoming a truly serious buyer, it's best to hire an experienced, knowledgeable professional to get “a thoroughly accurate take on the market.”

“Unfortunately,” Cooper observes, “like most everything in life, if you expect to do otherwise and get something for often wind up getting exactly what you paid for.”

About the Companies
Mountain Trust Realty and Mortgage Trust Mortgage are a full service lender and a real estate company uniquely positioned to provide clients with “one-stop real estate shopping” services conveniently located under one roof. Mountain Trust Mortgage has consistently been awarded an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau since we first registered with them nearly ten years ago. Our highly seasoned, vetted team of brokers and agents are specifically trained to actively listen to clients' needs, identify relevant issues, and advise them with regard to a wide range of solutions that are in their best interests. We take pride in placing our clients' best interests ahead of our own. Whether discussing potential loan modifications, refinancing as a last resort, or even short sales, our highly knowledgeable, talented team enjoy helping home buyers and sellers respond to what can often seem like daunting challenges with complete information, sensitivity, professionalism, and pride.

For more information, or to request a free initial consultation, call 858-376-1299.

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Gary Cooper, President
Mountain Trust Realty
Mountain Trust Mortgage
Mountain Trust Realty
Gary Cooper