Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Finding Properties in Regina

When I first started looking at properties in Regina I used the website. It links to the other Regional Multiple Listing Services around the country (and it looks like maybe other parts of the world). The Front page has the option of looking at Residential and Commercial with the commercial site linking you to

The Commercial site can be used to quickly find multi-family properties that might not be listed in the Residential site. Great for 4-plexes and above.

The Residential site gives you a number of options to narrow down by number of bedrooms, bathrooms, price range and number of storey's . You can even search in a particular "MLS Zone" if you know the name of the zone. (I tried Broders Annex and it brought all those up). Also I just found you can limit your search to newer listings specifying a date. It's a pretty decent starting search.

At the end of the day though it pales in comparison to the website that realtors have access to. This is where having a buying agent comes in handy. They can do a quick search of all MLS in the city... narrow it down by regions... or exclude certain regions (The more rundown shadier regions) and do all the rest of the filtering that I would love to be able to do on my own. Data on sold comparables can be found, regional data on number of listings sold in an area or the whole city... price sold versus asking... volume... etc. Basically a stats geeks dream... and everything you would need to make a competitive offer.

For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sites are becoming more and more popular in Canada and two in particular seem to have established themselves in Regina and Property Guys. I found it was more difficult to contact FSBO sellers and many of them seemed like they were just posting to see what interest they would get and weren't really serious in selling. Thing is though these sites are less trafficked and less competition on these listings. They also don't have the treasure trove of MLS data to use to glean a proper sales price giving the possibility of a good deal to be found. One of the properties I bought was originally a FSBO but they later hired an agent to represent, I originally found it on the SKHomes4Sale site. You do have to have patience when dealing with FSBO because most of them have day jobs and some of their properties have tenants...and it seemed difficult to arrange times to view the properties.

I just really wish the MLS was opened up so that data geeks like me can mine the data for good properties in a more efficient manner. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be in the cards.

Happy House Hunting!

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