For 42 percent of home buyers, the first step in the homebuying process was searching online. While technology has a number of benefits, it also comes with some potential pitfalls. Below include some of the most common mistakes home buyers made when searching for a home online.
Use a Real Estate Agent Even After Finding Your Perfect Home
With the vast amount of real estate information available online, some home buyers choose not to hire a real estate agent at all. While you may succeed in finding a home, an agent is extremely helpful in the negotiation process. He or she also helps to ensure you don’t miss relevant legal documentation or paperwork which could cause trouble later.
A good real estate agent can have years of experience in a local area and may know what the best neighborhoods are just from your description of your ideal home. In addition to their ability to find more listings and efficiently narrow things down, agents stay informed about current developments in a neighborhood, which may be difficult for home buyers not from the area.
Use Multiple Search Engines When Searching for a Home
Don’t rely on a single search engine or a few listings to find possible homes. All homes of interest are not necessarily listed on these sites, so this may eliminate many prospects from the search. This is also where a real estate agent can be useful.
It is recommended that you consider and use several search tools, including Coldwell Banker’s various property searches, and use them in tandem. This can fill in gaps and allow you to compare results.
Jessica Edwards, sales associate affiliated with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage in Wilmington, N.C., says that she often is able to show her clients listings before they even make it online. In a hot market, this can be a major advantage.
Don’t Waste Time Looking at Homes You Can’t Afford
Many home buyers waste time searching for homes online that they cannot afford. Get pre-approved for a mortgage to determine what price range to shop within and once you have decided on a property in your budget, act quickly.
One resource home buyers may be unaware of is real estate RSS feeds or email alerts, which can help fill in knowledge gaps about a specific market and provide current information. This can shorten the amount of time you spend retreading old ground during a home search, and may present the opportunity to get to a good property first. Home sellers in a hurry may be inclined to make a good deal for the sake of promptness, so speed could be a significant advantage in negotiations.