Online resources like Trulia or Zillow and others are very useful as a quick guide to information. But the question is where do they get the information? They get it from the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) of real estate agents across the country. They can only keep and so much data and do so to provide general information for consumers. They are a great guide and introduction.
But when you want a more thorough look into the data, the local MLS maintained by real estate professionals will have more information going back much further. Information is everywhere now but what is most valuable is the ability to select, interpret and analyze the vast amounts of information out there. This is especially true in real estate.
A real estate professional will have access to the kinds of data you want and can also help you refine what you are trying to find out. Real estate agents with experience have been through more than a couple of market cycles and can put the data in context.
I have found that being an ongoing resource for my clients even when they are not in the market is as important a part of my work as heloping with buying or selling. Any agent can pull out the data you want, but I recommend asking someone you can trust and will be there over time when you need it and can helop you use the data to its best advantage.
The most likely candidate is price. There is always some price that will attract buyers. If you are the lowest price in your area for what you are offering then you will most likely be the first to receive offers. When you have many poepl looking but no offers it means real buyers are deciding to go elsewhere. If your price is significantly off what the market will support you will be attracting the wrong buyers who are expecting more for their money and you will not be attracting buyers who can actually afford your house. Buyers and agents will usually search for properties within a range. If I can afford homes from $500,000-$600,000, I may not be looking at homes over $650,000 for example. If you are priced there but the real market value is in my range I may never consider your home because it is out of my range.
There can be other factors that can be an issue as well. Some properties have one issue that buyers cannot get past in a competitive market. For example if you are on a very busy road, you may appear priced well but buyers simply go to other homes that are similar but are n a quieter street. In that case, the price is still the issue because you cannot change your street and you need to make your house a better deal.
Sometimes there are things that can be done with how a home shows that can help. Talk to your agent about what comments they are getting. What is it that buyers are saying about your home?. Maybe it can show better.
Find out what has been selling that is similar to yours. If they are all priced better then the answer will be obvious
In any case, when an agent is representing a client as a buyer there is much more than just letting them in the door. Your agent has a fiduciary relationship to you - that means one in which your trust, their loyalty and effort must be on your behalf. The right agent will bring many skills and knowledge to bear on your purchase. THey will know the market thoroughly and be able to advise you on value, pitfalls, inspections, loans, title issues and more. They also need to be a great negotiator.
It is also important that you just have the right chemistry with each other. You should feel comfortable. If for any reason you do not feel that the agent has the background or qualities that work for you, then find the right one. Having the right agent on your side can save you significant time and money. Take the time to interview the agent first.
You do not have to work with anyone that is not right for you.