House hunting can be a stressful experience for anyone. Between flipping through page after page of real estate listings in the newspaper and driving all over town looking at different prospects, tons of time and effort can be expended looking at houses you have no interest in.
Fortunately, online housing portals have become a popular option for interested buyers in recent years. The ability to survey options online can have a number of advantages over the prehistoric methods of hunting down a home.
As many as 42% of recent buyers initiated their search process by looking at properties online, while only 14% chose to contact a real estate service. Here are a few reasons why:
- Only look at houses you would want: Previously, searching for a new home typically came with a fair share of disappointment upon going to physically look at homes. Walking through the door to realize that the interior is not at all what you were looking for can be pretty disheartening.
With pictures available online, you can get a better idea of which homes are worth your while to go check out. Of those who conducted their searches online, 87% of homebuyers reported finding photos on the websites very useful, with another 84% found detailed information on the property to be very helpful.
- More options: Because you will be able to peruse countless real estate listings online, rather than driving from open house to open house, interested buyers will be able to view substantially more properties for sale online.
- Ready to negotiate: The real estate pricing will typically be right in front of you on an online listing, which will give you a good idea of what home sellers are trying to make. By having the ability to do some appraisal research of your own using the information available on the listings, you can prepare yourselves for a negotiation in the first meeting, giving you a leg up on the competition.
- No middleman: While real estate agents can be helpful in some aspects, ultimately there will be a ton of relaying messages back and forth that could just as easily be done directly between the buyer and seller online. Not only will this save time, it’ll also avoid the need to pay for their services.
Consumer use of online searches hit an all-time high of about 92% for real estate-related searches. It even jumped 60% for mobile and tablet usage on weekends. With so many buyers turning to online real estate listings, there must be something going for it.