Let’s be real, we do just about everything online these days. With a single click, we can have our favorite meal delivered to our doorstep, order a car for a night out on the town, or purchase that perfect outfit for your next company party. Why should searching for your newest humble abode be any different?
Look no further for some of our best tips and tricks for hunting for a house online.
1) Keep It Relevant
It’s important when you begin your online search for a home that you stay up to do and relevant with what inventory is actually available. Things in real estate can move quickly, so utilizing websites that pull data straight from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is the smartest choice. Websites like HomeLight, Zillow and Realtor.com are always great places to begin your hunt.
2) A Photo is Worth a Thousand Words
Be aware when you’re hunting for a house online that photographs can be deceiving. Real estate photographers are trained to make a space look the best it possibly can. Also, it’s worth noting that often unappealing parts of the home often are not photographed for online listings (think that small dingy closet or outdated half bath). Therefore, it’s always important to schedule a showing with your agent before making any kind of commitment to a property.
3) Use the Internet to Find an Agent
Having a real estate professional help you is the best way to get to the closing table on your dream home. You can compare agents online with HomeLight! This system analyzes transaction data to best match you with the agent that will help get your deal done. Things to consider when choosing the right agent include:
- Interviewing candidates before you commit
- Comparing experience and relevant data
- Consider speed of transactions, volume of sales, specialties and more
4) Read the Listing Carefully
When looking at homes online, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the photos. It’s important that you remember to read the listing carefully for details that can save you time and efforts. If a two-car garage is a must-have for you, look to make sure that detail is included in the property before you schedule a showing. It’s also smart to read about specific terms they may include, like if appliances are included in the sale for example, or specific room sizes.
5) Get the Most Out of Virtual Tours
Touring homes virtually is a great tool when hunting for a house online. This feature can make it feel like you’re actually walking through a space without needing the leave the comfort of your couch. Virtual home tours are another great way to save you time and effort in going to see a property that may end up being wrong for you.
6) Take a “Drive”
If a home is not within easy driving distance from you, a great way to get a more realistic feel for the location and surroundings is by taking a virtual drive via Google Maps. Utilize the street view feature and take a virtual drive around the neighborhood. This may reveal that the home is too close to neighbors or on a busier road than you realized initially.