Source: USA Today —
More than you realize is public information online. Here are five private details anyone can find out about you and your home online.
If you’re not trying to sell your home, there’s no reason to leave interior photos and other details on real estate sites like Realtor, Zillow and Redfin. Just think about how valuable your floor plan might be in the wrong hands.
When you’re selling your home, you want potential buyers to have all the information they need, including condition, photos, floor plans, furnishings and appliances. But if you just bought a house, you might not want all that information posted for anyone to see.
Do you want just another to see every entry point for each room? This information puts you at risk from criminals who can put together strategies based on your floor plans.
You might assume your real estate agent or seller would remove your home’s info from real estate sites after you’ve made a deal, but that’s not always the case.
Wonder who are your neighbors? You can walk over and say hi, but you can also find your neighbor’s name online.
A listing network
When your home is for sale, the broker uploads your home’s information (photos, floor plans and lots more) to a Multiple Listing Service. This service listing is where houses and pictures are posted.
This group then distributes the details to online real estate sites like Zillow, Realtor.com, Redfin and others. Brokers and agents who subscribe to that listing service for a membership fee can access all the information.
Removing yourself from a Multiple Listing Service
Only licensed agents and brokers can access a listing service and make changes, such as removal. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, ask your listing agent to close out the listing on the listing service. This may not necessarily get everything removed right away, but it’s a start.
Just because your home’s information is removed from the listing service doesn’t mean it’s not posted elsewhere. You may still find it on publicly accessible real estate sites.
Once again, you can ask your listing agent to remove your photos and other home information from websites they have access to.