Buying Property In Person vs. Online
Published Wednesday, September 21, 2022
I heard that the man, Rich Barton, who cofounded the real estate internet company Zillow was the same guy who founded the online travel company, Expedia. We all know what that, and other online reservation websites, have done to the travel agency business. That industry was severely hurt when consumers started to embrace the convenience of making airline and hotel reservations themselves online.
Some real estate agents were concerned that Zillow might have the same effect on the real estate brokerage business. Online communications and information systems have impacted every business including real estate brokerage but there's a big difference between real estate brokerage and booking travel reservations. People typically buy real estate with all their senses.
There are lots of examples and many situations where people have bought a property using a website …or in other words, without actually visiting the property. Those circumstances however are few and far between and they can often end up with problems. Recently a young family fell in love with a home they saw online only to find out that the major airport flight pattern was right over their new home. People generally don't like surprises. Especially when buying a home. Discovering a problem after the purchase is very disheartening.
People buy real estate with all 5 natural senses: eyesight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste.
Taste, you say. Yep. I would always bring some Dixie cups along when showing homes. If the buyers showed an interest, I’d encourage them to take a drink of water. You don’t want to be surprised later if the water is not up to par.
Of course, location, location, location is key to any real estate purchase. You can tell a lot from the pictures, and you can see all the amenities of the property, but you can't experience the location, location, location until you stand on the property and take a good look around.
And let’s not forget that 6th sense called intuition. How do you feel when you walk in the front door? How about the home’s traffic pattern or in other words, the floor plan. You’ll never duplicate the experience of walking through the home on a smart device.
Zillow and the rest of the DYI real estate websites are important and valuable communication tools, but people still want advice from a professional and they still want to experience what they’re buying with all 6 senses.
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