House hunting online is a great place to start your search, but it can never replace good old-fashioned viewings of homes in person. Good listing agents will always be excellent at highlighting the best features of the home and drawing your attention, but always keep in mind there may be more than meets the eye. We all have to start somewhere with our searches and online is certainly a great place to begin – it’s why we built this website. To make the most of your time and efforts and in order to gather a well-rounded picture of online real estate listings, try to keep the following three things in mind during your online house hunting.
- Stay up to date. When you are just beginning your search, make sure you find a site that feels comfortable to you and 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. This has definitely improved over the years, but there are still some sites out there that let old data linger for far too long or don’t have the best, most reliable info. Might we suggest our easy to use search?
- 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 wide angle lenses to make areas look larger and creative editing to make colors and textures really pop. Photoshopping grass or blue skies is common these days, so be aware that what you see in the photo may not be what you see when you step out of the car. Many real estate agents will avoid using photos that are not flattering or show unappealing parts of the home, like small closets or outdated bathrooms.
- See it to believe it. Once you find what appears to be your dream home online, give us a call and schedule a showing. You want to take the opportunity to vet the home in person and explore every part of it before beginning the offer process. Your real estate agent will help you cover all your bases and will ask questions you may not have thought of. Take your time and get a good look – this might be where you spend the rest of your life, so you want to make sure it’s the one you want.