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How to Find a Home Online

Crofton MD Real Estate Q&A

Q. I’d like to begin my home search online, but there are so many real estate websites.  Where should I start?

A. You’re right, there are probably thousands of websites offering home listings.  The good news is this: the data for most of them is gleaned from the local MLS listing so the information is essentially the same, no matter where you find it.  But why not go straight to the source…


MRIS is the regional multiple listing service used by REALTORS in the greater Crofton area and much of the Middle Atlantic Region. is the public version of MRIS, and you can count on it to be up-to-date and consistent with the information available to agents using MRIS. 


If you click on the agent’s contact information for more information about the property, you will be reaching out to the listing agent WHO REPRESENTS THE SELLER’S BEST INTEREST, not yours.

My suggestion:  Look to for up-to-date listing information, but contact YOUR BUYER AGENT for more information.  It is your buyer-agent’s job to represent your best interests in your home search and purchase.

Real Estate Company Websites: Long and Foster and most other large real estate firms have their own websites and a home search feature.  One special feature you’ll find on Long & Foster’s website is a Foreclosure Search, if that interests you. 

Non-traditional real estate websites such as have some of the best mobile apps available, but the listing information is not always up-date.

One feature of Zillow that I do like is real estate agent reviews posted by consumers. Perhaps that’s because my reviews are pretty good, but really… where else are you going to find unedited testimonials directly from other home buyers and sellers? Simply click on the link at the top of the page for “Professionals” and then type in the name of an agent you’re considering.  If you don’t have an agent in mind, type in the zipcode where you’re looking and check out the agents who have at least 3 or 4 reviews.

Agent websites are another option you may want to consider for your online home search, such as this one at  If you’re already working with an agent, check their website for a home search; if you’re not working with an agent yet, please feel free to use the home search on my website at your own pace and convenience.  There’s no registration required unless you request email updates for new listings.  Again, you can count on up-to-date information on most agent websites – and for sure on mine.

While you may find a home online, the Internet cannot represent your best interests in a real estate transaction.  That’s your agent’s job.  Choosing the right real estate agent has never been more important than it is in today’s market… but that’s a subject for another day. 

For answers to your real estate questions, please click on the contact tab at the top of this page and give me a call or send an email. 


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Margaret Woda on Zillow
My Davidsonville Real Estate Listings