Hunting for a new home online is a great place to start your search, and according to research completed in 2019, 50% of homeowners found their new property from an online search. Technology is a fantastic way to see the home, take a video tour, and even see a street view of the new house and neighborhood but it should not be your end all be all. Good listing agents are excellent at highlighting the best features of the home, but keep in mind there may be more to the property than what you can see online. To make the most of your time and efforts and gather a well-rounded picture of home listings online, keep the following three things in mind.
- Stay up to date. This is the number one thing I experience when working with buyers searching online websites for their new home! When you start your search, make sure you find a site that pulls up-to-date listings directly from the multiple listing service (MLS) where real estate agents actively post their most current homes for sale. Many online resources update less often or fail to remove listings that are off the market, making it more difficult to sort through the clutter. I recommend using two or three sites and comparing the property between the three. If all the information is the same then typically the information is current.
- Pictures can be deceiving. Real estate photographers are experts at showing a home in the best possible light. Many use tools and strategies to boost appeal, such as a fisheye lens to make areas look larger and creative editing to make colors and textures really pop. But, often listings will not contain photos of unappealing parts of the home, like small closets or outdated bathrooms. I have found in my experience this is all too common, and always attempt to get my clients on-site to view the property.
- See it to believe it. Once you find what appears to be your dream home online, call up your real estate agent, and schedule a showing. As your agent, I will research the home prior to our visit and will help you cover all your bases and will ask questions you may not have thought of. I always recommend scheduling a walkthrough to tour the property in person. If that's not an option I have options now to tour the home and offer you a virtual reality walkthrough, like your standing right there with me!