Ninety percent of the buyers looking at homes in Windsor Ontario will start their search online. The internet has dramatically changed the real estate industry, in fact, every industry, in the past several years. We now book our own flights, do our shopping and basically communicate with each other over our computers.
However, to make your home buying experience effective, you need to stay away from the various pitfalls that can occur if you aren’t careful. Here are some of the top mistakes a buyer can make when looking and buying homes online.
1. Trying to do everything yourself
True, we can book a trip to Florida online without little assistance, but assuming the internet is the only thing you need when buying a home is a costly mistake. Of course, you can gather all kinds of information and do the proper research, but unless you are a professional and well experienced real estate agent, it is difficult and complicated to get around the legal documents that are required. If a mistake is made, thousands of dollars can be lost, not to mention the home itself. So don’t attempt to do all the paperwork yourself because you think “you can get help online.” There are so many things that can go wrong with the volumes paperwork and certain items that can be missed. Don’t risk it.
2. Narrowing your home search:
If you are typing in the search bar a neighbourhood that you like, and include your budget, chances are, you will come up with so many homes that you are instantly overwhelmed. That is why too many buyers stick with only one or two real estate search engines, but here’s the problem: Not all online real estate companies are created equally. Therefore, if you follow this practice, you are missing out on lots of potential homes. For example, many don’t include every home on the market and certainly, they don’t provide information on upcoming homes going on the market. Not only that, you miss all of the latest information regarding the housing market. When searching for a home, a real estate agent can tell you what is happening in your particular neighbourhood, let you know if the price is reasonable, what the nearby comps are and give you any idea whether other homes are coming on the market.
3. For Sale By Owner:
Homes that are for sale by owner can be difficult to find on the internet. If this is a type of home you are interested in, then you won’t find them on the major real estate websites.
4. Be on alert for fake listings:
There are many sites where “sellers” put up a home, and this is especially true with rental properties, where a “property” will be listed, but in fact, is not for sale. A few warning signs: be careful of homes that sound great, but have no pictures. Also, if pictures are included, but have various watermarks, then you may want to avoid.
5. Don’t assume:
Remember, not everything you read on the Internet is true. So be very careful when reading descriptions of homes or when going on popular websites to discover the value of a home as they are not always accurate. A popular home valuation website listed a client’s house at well over $45,000 than what it was actually worth. Needless to say, the seller was extremely disappointed when reality hit and he was informed the more realistic price. What the website didn’t take into consideration was that he lived on a very busy street next to a soon to be constructed commercial building.
Like anything else, you want to do your research and not rely completely on the Internet for your home search. It’s a great way to get started and to get some idea of what is available in the area you wish to buy. It also can tell you lots about the school district, nearby shopping and entertainment as well as other amenities. But to rely solely on this information is not only risky, but has the potential to cost you down the road. Remember, what you see, is not necessarily what you get. And if something sounds too good to be true, you want to get the facts to back it up.