According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 90% of home buyers searched online during their home buying process. Real estate related searches on Google have jumped 253% over the past 4 years. Since most buyers are now viewing homes online before they view them in person, one must be aware of the following;
ONLINE VS. IN PERSON
Online – Photographers (especially professional ones) can use different angle lenses and make rooms looks as big as they want.
In Person – Buyers are often surprised how much smaller a home looks in person.
Online – HDR imaging and programs such as Photoshop can digitally remove flaws from a home and make the house look brand new.
In Person – Keep in mind what photos can’t tell you. They can’t tell you the smell, mold, septic issues, etc. These can all be very surprising once you enter a digitally altered home.
Online – Lots of homes on the market today are staged. This can create a very peaceful and trendy looking environment that may distract you from the big picture.
In Person – Try hanging out in the neighbourhood for a while (go for a walk, go for a coffee, etc.) to get the full experience of not only the home but also the location.
So what now? How does one figure out which homes they want to see by looking at something online that may not be quite the same in person? Here are some helpful hints;
- When looking online try not to get too attached to a property right away. Wait until you actually visit it.
- Find a Realtor who points out the pros and isn’t afraid to point out the cons of a home as well.
- Be patient. Online shopping can sometimes lead to impulse buying and wanting instant gratification. However shopping, in real estate, can cause major consequences if not done so properly.