What is IDX and how does it work? IDX is short for Internet Data Exchange. It’s a process that allows participating Brokers and Real Estate Companies to show the homes they have listed on the Iowa City MLS on each others websites.
I get lots of emails from buyers in the Iowa City area wanting to set up showings for homes they find on the site. The first thing I want to do is clear up one big misconception. A real estate listing online is not the same as a the sign in the yard. Depending on where you find the listing online it may or may not have the listing agent front and center on the page. With the sign in the yard it’s easy. You call the number on the sign, you get the listing agent. Online it’s not like that and IDX is one of the reasons that’s the case.
What that means to you is that on this site you will find ALL real estate listings listed on the Iowa City area MLS as long as the Listing Broker is participating in the Internet Data Exchange Program (IDX).
Advantages of the IDX Search to Buyers in the Iowa City Area
What are the advantages of that to you as a Buyer? It means you have access to the most current listings on the Iowa City MLS right here on this website. It also means you have choices when it comes to the agent you work with. Calling a number on a real estate sign gets you the listing agent, but is it such a good idea to work with the listing agent? Maybe not. Listing agents represent sellers. It makes a lot more sense for you to get your own representation with a buyer’s agent. Especially when you consider that getting yourself a buyer’s agent with all the advantages that come with exclusive representation is absolutely FREE. Sellers pay the commission – That’s already been negotiated upfront between the listing agent and their seller client.
The Internet is a great place to get the scoop on buyer agents before you start working with them. You can learn a lot about an agent through their website. You can also learn a lot about the different Brokerages this way too. How timely do they respond to emails? What kind of response do they give you? Do you have the feeling they are answering the questions you need answered? It’s a good way for you as a buyer to figure out what kind of service you can expect down the road. If they don’t answer emails or return calls now, chances are they won’t later either. Finding that out after you’ve signed the purchase agreement and are under contract is not a happy scenario.
Advantages of the IDX Search to Sellers in the Iowa City Area
Marketing exposure is always a good thing when you’re selling a home in Iowa City so IDX is good for you too. The only downside I can see is that a select few real estate companies don’t participate in IDX. I’d say it’s a mystery to me why that is, but I suspect it has something to do with Brokers wanting to sell more of their own listings “in house” and not open it up to all the agents in town. This isn’t great for you as a seller, because you’re obviously missing out on the exposure of multiple websites if your Broker isn’t participating in IDX. (Side note: If you have a listing appointment coming up you may want to ask the agent if they participate in IDX – And if not – Why not?)
The Internet provides a lot of information to help buyers and sellers in Iowa City. At the same time, it also throws up a lot of confusing and conflicting data. (As great as I think IDX is, I know it also confuses buyers). If you’re buying or selling real estate in the Iowa City area and are looking for an experienced Iowa City Realtor to help you sieve through the data, ready to assist you with good, sound advice please contact me either by email or at 319-400-0268.