6 Things You Need to Know Before Searching for Homes Online

6 Things You Need to Know Before Searching for Homes Online


Let's be honest; we all turn to the internet for guidance before making any moves – regardless of the subject. This rings particularly true when it comes to house hunting. The online world opens a treasure trove of information on various properties at our fingertips. From the cozy sanctuary of our living room, we can take virtual tours, view photo galleries, and read extensive descriptions for each listing.

The power of online searching for homes for sale in Verrado, AZ, gives prospective homebuyers the ability to tailor their searches to their specific needs, pinpointing only those homes with the desired number of bedrooms, features, and other essential amenities. But wait! Before you press "enter" on your search, watch for a few key aspects to help you avoid disappointment.

You can't trust every real estate listing online

Most real estate listing platforms rely on algorithms to identify properties online or extract information from other websites for their listings. This approach often results in inaccuracies and outdated data. The only listing service that ensures accuracy and current information is the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), which is financially supported and managed by professional real estate agents.

Some homes for sale are never publicly listed, usually, because the owner is a prominent person who requires privacy. These hidden gems exist in the real estate market, offering exclusivity and discretion to potential buyers. By keeping the listing off the public market, the homeowners can maintain their privacy and only entertain serious inquiries. While this may limit the pool of potential buyers, it also creates an air of exclusivity and allure for those who are in the know.

Pictures can be deceptive

A good photographer can manipulate light and angles, creating an illusion of a spacious and well-lit room, which could lead to a discrepancy between the buyer's expectations and the reality of the property. When the buyer visits the property in person, they might find the space smaller and lacking natural light. While video tours help to portray the home's layout, it is still easier to get a feel for the home's flow once it is visited in person.

In-person visits allow buyers to truly experience the spatial arrangement and understand how each room connects to the next. Walking through the home creates a sense of immersion that cannot be replicated through a screen. Additionally, being physically present in the space allows buyers to assess other aspects, such as natural lighting, noise levels, and the finer details of the home.

On the other side of the coin, without a skilled photographer, a property may appear darker and smaller than its actual dimensions. When viewing homes online, read the property descriptions and try to see the home's architectural features. Does the residence have the features and amenities on your must-have list? If so, it may be wise to do an in-person visit to evaluate the property, despite the unflattering images.

You're not getting the whole picture

While the seller strives to share every detail about the home to attract potential buyers, there's much more than meets the eye. It's not that they're being secretive, but a listing simply can't capture everything. Remember, you're not just buying a house; you're investing in a whole community – an experience that goes far beyond what any listing could ever convey.

You can and should search online to find information about the neighborhood. Although online research can reveal a treasure trove of knowledge, nothing beats a boots-on-the-ground approach. Spend some time in the community relaxing at the local coffee shops and trying nearby eateries. Drive through the area during various times and days, giving you a sense of traffic patterns and the neighborhood's vibe.

Look for red flags

While exploring homes online, keep an eye out for potential red flags like how long a property has been listed and any price fluctuations. By paying attention to how long a house has been up for sale, you can gauge how desirable it is to other buyers.

A seemingly attractive property might have hidden issues or an unyielding seller. However, it could also be your golden ticket to an amazing deal! Your real estate agent can use their professional connections in the industry to determine which side of the fence this home resides on.

Look at other homes in the neighborhood

Even if nearby houses don't boast the features you're after, it's wise to examine their listings and compare their sale prices to the one that catches your eye. If you can, dig up some intel on recently sold properties in the area, particularly those with a similar design, to see if they fetched comparable prices. This detective work will give you a clear view of what your budget can achieve while also ensuring that you're not being lured into an overpriced deal.

Who to trust

Starting your home search online can prepare you for what's available in the market and what your budget will afford. But when it is time to get serious about your search, it's time to contact a local real estate agent. They have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the home-buying process and help you find the perfect property. A real estate agent can provide valuable insights about neighborhoods, market trends, and potential issues with a property that may not be apparent online.

The earlier you reach out to an agent, the better. It provides an opportunity to interview a couple of agents and find the perfect match. It also allows time for the agent to learn about the lifestyle you seek and the amenities you need in your new home. By contacting an agent early in your home search, you can establish a strong working relationship and ensure they clearly understand your preferences and requirements.

Barbara Hopkins is an agent who knows the Phoenix area and Verrado real estate well. Her in-depth knowledge and experience will ensure you find a home matching your desires and budget. Get in touch with Barbara today to start your journey toward finding your dream home.



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Oftentimes buyers don't visualize living in your home the way you do. I can make your home attractive to its ideal audience which can help you get top dollar. Things like staging the home, making repairs or minor improvements, or even simply painting the walls can be the difference between a home resting on the market and one that's sold fast.

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