These days it’s hard to imagine life without the internet. Many of us have become extremely comfortable with surfing the net and buying online. It’s fun and it’s fast. And just about anything is available online, from clothes to holidays, antique furniture to the latest computer software – it’s all there, just a couple of clicks away!
Searching for property online is also an excellent tool, especially for prospective buyers. In a large number of instances it helps to save both time and energy. Real estate agency websites and larger portals such as realestate.com and domain.com allow buyers to browse what’s for sale over a wide geographical area without leaving the comfort of their lounge room.
One of the less obvious benefits to browsing online for property is that it allows buyers to refine their search criteria and eliminate unsuitable properties. For example, buyers with a budget of $500,000 who are looking for a three-bedroom house in Eltham can simply enter these requirements and thus only see listings that match. Property searching online is a good starting point.
There are however, some negative aspects to online searching when it comes to real estate. Firstly, looking at pictures on a computer screen cannot replace an open for inspection. Photos provide an overall impression and verify that there are in fact two bathrooms or a swimming pool, but the feel of a property and the finer details can only be appreciated in person. A property should never be dismissed simply because its online appeal was lacking.
Secondly, a real estate agent, whilst they are obviously working primarily for the vendor, can offer much greater information about a listing. They are experts in their field and can provide valuable insight that the internet cannot. They are also local experts and can present details regarding market trends and recent sales. If in doubt, call you local agent to discuss the online listing.
Lastly, a property listed online never provides a clear picture of the neighborhood. This is particularly important for buyers who plan to move to a new suburb. Getting in the car and driving in and around the area as well as taking a good look at the actual street the house is located are imperative steps in assessing a new home. This also applies to property investors.