Researching Real Estate Online
'Let your fingers do the walking' has taken on a whole new meaning when it comes to researching real estate in the 21st century. The Internet is becoming an increasing important source of information and a time saving tool for homebuyers. It empowers them to gather information about housing issues and current market conditions as well as allowing them to preview numerous listings at the click of a mouse and survey current mortgage rates.
Home shoppers benefit in particular by being able to research homes before meeting with a real estate agent. Typical questions such as: Are there good schools nearby? How far is it to downtown or to work? Is the home construction suitable to its geographical area? Researching areas of concern can provide a sense of control over what is for many people the largest purchase of their lives. Also by weeding out homes that don't meet basic criteria, they can save themselves and the agent a great deal of time. The Internet makes research faster and more convenient than ever.
The following are some ways to maximize the research potential of the Internet when you search for a home.
If you're in the market for a new home you've likely already visited or plan to visit online listings on www.sutton.com or www.mls.ca. These listings generally provide details on the square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, age, location, and other aspects of the home along with a photo. You will also find the name of the listing agent.
Technology is not replacing customer service; an online listing doesn't mean an online sale without a human element. In fact, Internet shoppers are more likely to use real estate agents than non-Internet shoppers. Eighty-seven percent of web home shoppers use a real estate agent or broker, while 76 percent of traditional buyers work with an agent, according to an American study conducted by the National Real Estate Board in 2000. The Internet is a channel for delivering property information; as a consumer you need not sacrifice any of the services you'd expect from a profession real estate agent.
Sales agents help potential buyers determine their specific home requirements, provide qualified information about the local market, prepare an offer, provide information on home inspection and more.
Happy (and knowledgeable) house hunting!