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Home Shopping Online: What You Need to Know

Updated: May 20


If you’re in the market for a new home, chances are you’ve been scouring the internet for listings in your preferred location during any free time you have. While this can be helpful when you’re first looking for a new place, you won’t know exactly what you’re getting until you visit the property in person (typically with a real estate agent). Both of these browsing methods—online and in-person—are beneficial in the home-buying process, but you won’t get the same results from either of them. Here’s what you need to know about online shopping while looking for your next place.

It Helps You Build Your Wants and Needs Lists

While you’ve probably put extensive thought into what you want out of your dream home over the years, now’s the time to be realistic and pin down your must-haves and must-not-haves. Conducting thorough research online while starting your home-buying journey will help you determine what you can afford.

It Allows You to Narrow Your List of Homes to See

Looking through listings online ultimately saves you time so that you aren’t visiting homes that wouldn’t actually interest you or don’t fit your wants and needs. Utilize photos, virtual home tours, and advanced search options on online databases to focus on your priorities and come up with a small but solid list of homes to see in person.

But It Can Be Deceiving...

No matter how you frame it, an online listing is essentially an advertisement for the home. You have to keep in mind that there may be less than ideal things about the home that may not be disclosed in the listing. Seasoned sellers could use staging and photography to their advantage, so it’s good to not take everything you see as-is.

... And Because of This, In-Person Visits Are Necessary

There are many things that an online listing doesn’t show, so it’s necessary to visit a home in person prior to making any buying decisions. You may not know if there is mold in the bathroom, if the neighbors are loud and have messy yards, or if there is a smell in the home unless you walk through it. When visiting a potential home, bring along a home inspection checklist so you know what to look for.

Avoid buyer’s remorse when looking for your next home by visiting potential homes in person with a knowledgeable realtor. While browsing for homes online can be fun and easy (and can be done from the comfort of your couch and pajamas), scheduling tours is necessary to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting prior to making an offer. Contact me today if you’re looking for the right realtor, and let me help you find your next home!


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