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If you’re buying or selling a home, real estate search sites matter

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How commonly used sites can affect what you pay—or get—for your property

Real estate portals that Austin home buyers, sellers, and professionals use regularly turn up very different search results, according to a recent report by analytics site NeighborhoodX—and that can have a big impact on the bottom line for all.

NeighborhoodX looked at the total number of listings in Austin among the different search portals—for this analysis, Realtor, RedFin, Trulia, and Zillow. If they're licensing the same data, the thinking goes, results should be roughly the same (with slight variations to account for different refresh rates). Each search was done for properties for sale, without any parameters regarding size, price, and so on.

Of the sites studied for the Austin analysis, Zillow had the fewest search results for Austin (3,406 properties for sale), while Realtor had the most (6,097 properties for sale) —that’s a difference of 79% in the total number of listings between those two real estate sites.

According to NeighborhoodX co-founder Constantine Valhouli, "This analysis has fascinating implications for both buyers and sellers. As a buyer, this makes you realize that you're likely not seeing all the listed properties on the market if you just check a single portal. To see the most properties, you need to do the same search multiple times.”

"Second, if you're a seller, you can't help but wonder if your property is one of the ones that isn't showing up in all the listing results—and, as a result, are you reaching fewer potential buyers,” he said.