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More home searches are happening online

More home searches are happening online

If much of the real estate traffic is happening off-road and online, where are consumers shopping? Inman News reports that the top 10 websites for the housing industry is led by Yahoo Real Estate, followed by Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, MSN Real Estate, Homes.com, AOL Real Estate, Rent.com, Zip Realty, and My New Places.

According to data from Experian Hitwise, these top 10 capture about 39 percent of total web traffic in the month of November 2011. With the explosion of online home searches and the public’s accessibility to data, do buyers and sellers need to work with professional agents?

Real estate deals are contracts, and professional agents can make the difference in making transactions go more smoothly. Agents are the most  knowledgeable sources for home sales in their areas of expertise. When in doubt, interview prospective agents and ask friends and co-workers for referrals. The data is plentiful, but most consumers find it helpful to consult with a pro to help navigate beyond the initial home search. After all, buying a home is one of the most important personal and financial decisions anyone can make.