Buyers are using the Internet to search for their next home, and this technology is the greatest advancement for home buyers in decades, at least since the invention of the MLS itself. Online MLS search tools have made finding a home or land so much easier and more efficient, it’s really amazing. While buyers can browse hundreds of homes for sale with very specific parameters, there is still something the Internet won’t do for you.
The Internet won’t give you the 3D real life experience with the ability to see everything in person, experience the visual reality (as opposed to virtual reality), experience the smells and all that your senses tell you about a neighborhood and a house. Looking at a data sheet and some photos and maybe even a virtual tour is all good. It’s all incredible, and so much more than buyers had even a few years ago, but until you put boots on the ground, you won’t be able to get the full experience of any home or lot.
This becomes glaringly evident when you look at homes for sale in different cities and states. The real estate markets are different around the country. For example, if you live in an area like Phoenix or Mesa or Las Vegas, you can find some absolutely gorgeous foreclosure homes in the MLS, and some great prices that may be as much as 30% or more below their normal FMVs. In fact, you can find not just a few homes like this, but hundreds. There are foreclosures that are beautiful and listed at incredible prices, the kind of homes that buyers want and could say, “I could make this my home forever.”
But in an area such as Sequim, Washington (and many cities and towns around the country), you cannot find such nice homes readily available in the MLS at great prices. In fact, in some of these areas, it is almost impossible to find a foreclosure that is nice enough to live in, doesn’t need major work, and is priced very low.
Some of these differences can be interpreted by an online Internet search, but unless and until you actually put boots on the ground, you won’t really know precisely what these homes look like. Use the Internet to filter through available homes, and then plan your trip to view the best prospects. But don’t be surprised if everything looks different on the ground. It always does.
Last Updated on July 27, 2012 by Chuck Marunde