Hunting for a new home online is a great place to start your search, but it should not be your end all be all. Good listing agents are excellent at highlighting the best features of the home, but keep in mind there may be more than meets the eye. To make the most of your time and efforts and gather a well-rounded picture of home listings online, keep the following things in mind.
- Stay up to date. When you start your search, make sure you find a site that 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. Some sites don’t even have all of the correct information that an actual MLS listing would have. For the most accurate information, have your Realtor (ME) set up a search directly from our local MLS.
- 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 a fisheye lens to make areas look larger and creative editing to make colors and textures really pop. But, often listings will not contain photos of unappealing parts of the home, like small closets or outdated bathrooms.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, call Me up 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. I will help you cover all your bases and will ask questions you may not have thought of.
- If you are not in town, or not able to visit the home prior to making an offer. Ask your agent to do a video walkthrough of the home. This can help to give you a better sense of the layout of the home as well as those not-so-camera-pleasing spots in the home that the listing photos did not show. You will then have a better idea as to how to write your offer. Once you are under contract, definitely show up for the home inspection. This will be your chance to see the home in person while you still have an opportunity to get out of the contract if need be.