Semohousehunter.com a valuable tool for buying, selling houses

Monday, August 15, 2011
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Although the home market has been unpredictable, Semohousehunter.com, run by the Southeast Missourian, gives people buying or selling a home the resources they need to make the process easier.

"Semohousehunter.com has been available to anyone looking for real estate or an agent since 2005," says Glenda Mayberry, real estate account executive at the Southeast Missourian and manager of the website. "There has been tremendous growth in the website and it is still growing. Southeast Missouri is picking up in home sales and Semohousehunter aids in this."

The homepage features house information and pictures as well as open house listings. The search engine also gives customers the option to choose the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a price range, locations from around Southeast Missouri, and residential or commercial options. The website is limited to agent listings and no sale-by-owner listings are accepted.

"Customers want to be in control of their searches and do not want their time wasted," says Ken Kiefer, an agent with Realty Executives of Cape County.

Semohousehunter.com gets more than 7,900 page views daily and more than 600 unique visitors.

"The website provides much more information" than just home listings, including information about schools and parks in the neighborhood, says Mayberry. A map feature offers street and satellite views and also gives potential buyers the chance to take a virtual tour of the neighborhood from street level.

"The pictures are very realistic so the potential prospects are happily surprised," Kiefer says. "The website makes it easy for prospects to find an agent, too. It includes a biography of the agents, their contact information and the properties that the agents are responsible for."

Mayberry says the website is updated daily to remove sold or expired properties.

"Every morning I get a list for new listings, and I put them on the website," Mayberry says. "The Realtors have to do nothing at all; we do the work for them. Our showcase members automatically get their interior and exterior photos scheduled and online as soon as possible."

According to Kiefer, statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that more than 85 percent of people use online searches like Semohousehunter.com before contacting an agent, making it a valuable tool given the current state of the home market.

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