e-Buying of Property

Posted by lorihawkinsnc@me.com | Articles,Buyers,General Knowledge,Real Estate | Saturday 8 May 2010 8:39 pm

From the Hawk’s Cry January 2001

It is quite fitting to share news and my view, of the continuing explosion of e-business in this new millennium. In particular, the electronic transfer of information in the Real Estate market.
The e-transfer of real property information is becoming quite popular. It is commonplace for purveyors of homes to do their ‘shopping’ on the Internet. Prior to entering the business as a Realtor, my wife and I explored the possibilities of finding a home on the Internet. The Internet can assist the purchaser(s) in viewing the house with a diagramed ‘virtual’ tour. The tour can visually help buyers in the decision making process.
Depending on the web-surfers’ criteria, the Internet can assist potential buyers in examining the possibilities of owning a home with two, three, or four bedrooms; understanding how the floor plan does or does not meet their needs and how to possibly plan to decorate the living room. This scenario is provided visually with the overall set-up of the house’s virtual tour.
What the Internet cannot do is help the buyer ‘feel’ the house. Is the house well constructed? Are there enough windows? Is the fireplace too small? Is the hallway really that small-it appeared larger on the virtual tour? I didn’t know the neighbor’s dog yelped all night! I thought my SUV could fit in the garage! The virtual tour went round & round, I couldn’t tell there was only one window in the master bedroom!
The Internet also cannot tell you the local market’s rate at that time. Nor can it replace the expertise of a Realtor who is familiar with the particular market that is being investigated and the neighborhood. This market knowledge provides additional guidance for the buyer(s). A virtual tour is a 360-degree picture that prevents the potential buyer from sensing the property other than visually. Stevie Wonder probably wouldn’t buy a house on the net & neither should you.
After working with Internet savvy clients this previous year, whom I had the pleasure of assisting to purchase homes, I’m finding it more difficult to say, sign an offer after viewing the virtual tour. I have spoken with other Realtors who have contacted and contracted clients on the net. I would greatly encourage my clients to touch/feel, see, hear ‘taste’, the property prior to purchasing.
E-commerce is quickly changing the pace of the business community. However, it is still the human touch that enlivens the statement-a house is not a home, until it’s lived in. If you, your family or friends are exploring the possibility of using the Internet to investigate home-ownership, either as a first time buyer, or a buyer who’s moving up or downsizing living space as the case may be, show up and the see the subject property in real-time! Case the joint. Cruise the neighborhood. Where’s the grocery store? Where’s the school? Where’s the firehouse? Who are the neighbors?
As a savvy consumer, use the Internet to your advantage and not to your disadvantage. See the place first on the Internet. But before you make an offer to purchase, see the place first-hand. And when you make the offer to purchase, use a Realtor such as Tony Hawkins, ABR, your intelligent choice.

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