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  • Writer's pictureHeidi Falter

Things You Need to Know About Searching for Homes Online

In the 2018 survey, 93 percent of home buyers used online websites when searching for a home in the United States. To help guide you in your search for buying a home, here are the top things you should know!

Research the Agent Listing the House

It’s important to take a look at the real estate agent listing the home because they could be a newer agent. It’s a good idea to check references if possible, but find out how the sellers found their real estate agent. Take note of online reviews, particularly how many they have more so than negative reviews since those should be taken with a grain of salt.

Find out what other houses they have listed because their experience in a certain price range of homes will make a difference if the home you’re looking at is outside of their typical range.

Check Other Info Online

Walk scores get a lot of attention these days as people want to be able to walk to retail spaces and other spaces near their home so be sure to check those numbers out at Walk Score. Most online real estate sites already post school ratings for nearby schools and schools do matter when you’re buying a house whether you’ve got children or don’t. Check out our home buying guide so you don’t miss something.

Use a Website That Features Houses from the MLS

What’s the MLS? It’s the multiple listing service that shows available houses. Websites that use the MLS will have the most up-to-date information on houses and will be the most reliable. These are the most common mistakes people make when buying a home.

Note How Long the Home Has Been on the Market

A house that’s been on the market for a long time tends to turn home buyers away because they begin to wonder what’s wrong with the house. But you should note the location of the home. A home in a smaller town could stay on the market longer than one in a more populated area. These tricks can help make a home sell faster.

Take a Look at Price Changes With the House

Online real estate sites Trulia and are great because they use information from the MLS and that information is always accurate and up-to-date. Often those websites will note a change in the price of a home and even provide a history of the house’s price. Learn more about what goes into pricing a house.

Take a Look at the Foreclosures in the Area

Recent foreclosures can have an effect on the price of a home that you’re looking at since appraisers look at comparables. Keep an eye on those homes in the area that are for sale and if they go into foreclosure because if you buy the house before the others go into foreclosure you could end up paying more for your house. Check out these ways to make your home appear more attractive on the market.


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