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 three 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. For my clients, I highly recommend using the online MLS portal I create for them, as it pulls data directly from the MLS in real time. 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.
- 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 But, often listings will not contain photos of unappealing parts of the home, like small closets or outdated bathrooms. A service I offer all of my clients is ‘agent previewing’ homes, where I go visit the home before scheduling their showing. While previewing, I check for any red flags or specific issues and aspects we may have discussed, so that I can relay that info, and not waste their time touring homes which they would have eliminated from contention if the pictures had shown everything.
- See it to believe it. Once you find what appears to be your dream home online, call up your real estate agent 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. While touring homes with my clients, I help to cover all bases by asking questions they may not have thought of.
Richard Slifkin, Broker/Realtor®
Highgarden Real Estate
Serving the Lake Norman and Charlotte, NC Area, including: China Grove, Concord, Cornelius, Davidson, Denver, Huntersville, Landis, Kannapolis, Mooresville, Salisbury, Sherrills Ford and Troutman.