Let’s face it! Today, most homes are bought by buyers who started their shopping experience online with the likes of Zillow, Realtor.com, and Homes.com. These sites are a great place to start a home search, as they allow you to look at community price ranges, county information, sizes & floor-plans, and most importantly, allows easy access to pictures of the property! But….
Tip 1: DON’T LET LISTING PICS FOOL YOU - The most misleading tactics real estate agents use to make their listings look more appealing are taking pictures with extra lighting and using special camera lenses to make rooms look larger than they really are,. They even apply tons of editing to make colors and textures really pop!Try to see through these "glam" filters.
Tip 2: STAY CURRENT – Make an effort to use a site that updates listings religiously. Many websites do not pull current listings from the MLS daily, meaning they don’t include all the properties that are for sale. Failure to update sold properties also causes shoppers to think some properties are still available, when they’ve already been sold. There’s nothing worse than falling in love with an already sold property!
Tip 3: EYES ON THE PRIZE - Once you’ve got your list of favored homes, you’re ready to schedule your showings. Call your real estate agent, as you’re going to want to see the home in person. The virtual experience will never fully replace the feeling of seeing a home! You may even want to see the home two or three times before opening negotiations and starting to make offers. Rely on your agent to cover the bases and lean on them for specific questions about the neighborhood and county statistics or property concerns.
Keep using the online resources the internet has placed at our fingertips to improve your buying experience but make sure not to fall for the common tropes of Zillow shopping! Stick to the above-mentioned tips and you’ll be sure not to go wrong in landing the home of your dreams. Happy house hunting!