Looking at homes online vs real life

Real estate online has revolutionized the industry. It has empowered the consumer. Real estate agents used to be able to just show buyers listings of their own or those of their broker but all that has changed. Buyers can look at hundreds of houses from the comfort of their own homes and develop a real feel for value. This is a good thing.

I constantly send listings to buyers through my Ocala Dream Home Finder which sets buyers up with a predetermined search of their choosing and automatically emails them listings.

The problem is that there is just no substitute for seeing a house in person. You need to get a feel for the space, imagine yourself living there, check out the neighborhood. The size of a house can also be very deceiving. Online all you can do is look at the square feet of living area. I’ve been in houses with great floor plans that felt 25% larger than they really were and just the opposite with poor floor plans. Buyers see a great priced foreclosure but don’t realize that it’s in the middle of no where. Realtors don’t know what to expect from a listing either until they see it. I’ve been in foreclosures that were obviously never lived in and I’ve been in others that were so nasty I wanted to go home and take a shower. I once went to show a really nice looking house. We pulled into the driveway and saw the neighbor with cars parked on his lawn. There he was working on his Harley in the driveway.  A guy who looked like a member of the band ZZ Top.

The moral of my story is the internet is a great thing for real estate. The internet has brought transparency to buying process. However it is just one tool. A starting point and no substitute for a good real estate agent. That would be me of course.

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