There’s no question about it; the internet is currently an essential part of the real estate buying and selling process.
In fact, the majority of people wanting to purchase a home begin by searching the internet for properties in their local market.
However, even the savviest buyers can get caught up in the “rabbit hole” of internet shopping.
So, if you are a serious buyer, starting your home search online, follow these tips to make the most of your online search...
Search within your price range.
If you are serious about buying soon, search within your price range.You may enjoy looking at the pictures of fancy homes, but stay realistic. Daydreaming about homes that you can’t afford, it is not a wise use of your time.
Get a pre-approval.
A pre-approval tells you exactly what you can afford so that you can focus your search. Having a pre-approval also lets sellers (and their agents) know you are serious about your home search. Your pre-approval may also prevent you from losing out to another buyer who is better prepared to proceed.
Remember that internet shopping is just the beginning.
Your purchase transaction will happen in the real world. While you can preview homes for sale without driving around town, nothing beats the expertise and experience of hiring an experienced real estate agent who can take you into those homes.
There is a whole lot of legalese and small print involved in real estate deals and contracts that agents are trained to handle. Even if you don’t want to hire a full-service real estate agent, many agents and brokers will assist you with parts of the purchase al la carte.
Vet the website you are viewing.
If you are browsing online for listings, vet the real estate agent or brokerage behind the website.
Some representatives have a clear, straightforward, and useful website. On the other hand, there are those websites that are simply a bunch of fluff. You can tell by checking out the message and whether they are attempting to appeal to you, or merely adjusting their message to cater to the online search engine to come up at the top of a Google search.
If a website doesn’t have a real individual behind it, one with a biography and clear listings of what homes they have for sale, it probably isn’t worth your time to continue searching on that website.
Great for comparative shopping.
Internet listings are fantastic for comparative shopping. For example, you might see a fantastic house online and wondering if the listing price is reasonable.
With just a few clicks around the internet, you can find out what homes in that neighborhood are selling for and whether that market is a sellers’ or buyers’ market.
Regardless of what you find on the internet, your home purchase will happen offline. Think of the internet as one of many tools you can use during your home search, and partner with a local real estate professional to help guide you through the process!