Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® Launches FindYourOBX.com

By on June 27, 2019

In 2017, the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® (OBAR) decided to initiate a progressive plan to bring a forward-facing real estate search engine website to its REALTOR® members and the community worldwide.  The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) committee appointed a taskforce of eight members to research and implement a website that would allow anyone from around the world to access the most up to date active listings for sale in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Taskforce Chair and Sun Realty Broker-in-Charge Richard Hess says, “There is so much bad real estate data floating around the internet. We wanted the public to have a trusted site that they can count on as having the most accurate and precise information about real estate for sale on the Outer Banks and surrounding areas.”

The taskforce examined other REALTOR® association’s public facing websites across the country to decide on a concept that would best represent the uniqueness of real estate in Dare county, while showcasing local events and helpful information.  After researching multiple custom programming companies, the taskforce decided on Solid Earth, now FBS, owned by Matt Fowler, a nineteen-year veteran in the business.  This new site says Fowler, “displays MLS data on behalf of the group of MLS subscribers in each market and is careful to follow Fair Display Guidelines. The site is designed to promote the use of a real estate professional, and to provide unlimited connections with homebuyers and sellers and it does this for members only, as an additional member benefit.” says Fowler.

After multiple design sessions and feedback from OBAR’s taskforce, MLS committee, and Board of Directors, Solid Earth created FindYourOBX.com which was launched in February 2018.  This website allows a consumer to search listings that are populating directly from OBAR’s MLS database which reduces the inaccuracy percentages that the larger, more popular third-party websites face.  In addition, the Taskforce specifically chose not to provide “estimates” of home value as those are frequently incorrect and can lead to tension between homeowners and seller’s agents. Says Hess, “It is very frustrating when you meet with a seller and they have a set amount they want to sell their house for based on an estimate that can be over 20% inflated due to a third-party website pulling old or inaccurate information.”   According to Hess, “A REALTOR® will have a better idea based on experience and education, however, the only true way to know the value of a home is to have an appraisal done by a professional appraiser. That is why we didn’t want to include the estimate option—it’s misleading and we want our information as accurate as possible. Our duty as REALTORS® is to protect our client’s rights and that includes giving them a realistic idea of what their home can sell for.”

FindYourOBX.com also does not charge REALTOR® members for leads on their listings like the larger real estate search engines do.  Offering blogs about local events and information, real estate tips and guidelines, as well as other pertinent local, state, and national real estate matters are what make the search engine unique and better for consumers looking for real estate in the Outer Banks.  And the best part: it is free for consumers and REALTORS®.

The Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® invites consumers and REALTORS® to explore FindYourOBX.com to find their next dream home.  It even has a social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.  Plus, an exciting new feature that has been added according to 2019 OBAR President Jean-Paul Peron is a section on Open Houses. Says Peron, “If you live here, or you are traveling here and are thinking about investing in a second home or relocating here entirely, you can easily plan to check out all of the open houses in the area. This new feature saves you the time of having to go to each company’s websites.” Happy house hunting!

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