Buying a Home Online in San Diego. Possible?

Real Estate Agent with The Alliance Group Real Estate Services 01298719

The first thing we all do when we are considering practically anything is online. The world is at our fingertips now which makes finding answers to our questions incredibly easy. Combine that with the fact that there is an underlying belief that Real Estate Agents are simply a commodity that may or may not be necessary, begs the question, “can I buy a house without an agent’s help?”


Here are some things to consider:

Current Online Information. It’s interesting how many assume that what they are seeing online is accurate and up to date. Many online sites simply take information from the local Multiple Listing Service and post it on their website hoping to attract home shoppers. This information is manually inputted onto their website and is not always accurate and up to date. Our clients call us daily asking “why didn’t you show us this house?...”. After researching the address we find that it has been sold for months. Accurate Online Information and Analysis Paralysis. The adage “if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t true” certainly applies. Did you know that a strategy to get an offer on a Short Sale is to list it for sale at a ridiculously low price to generate a fast offer? This is a common practice. Did you know it takes months of negotiations for a Lender to counter the price and ultimately approve a sale? (It takes us 60 days and we have a team in place to negotiate. The national average time frame for negotiations is 148 days). What that means is, if a home is worth $300,000 and it is listed at $250,000 to generate a quick offer, you may see it listed “for sale” for 5 months at $250,000. Most would assume then that the home is probably worth less than $250,000 if it hasn’t sold, right? This is an example of how Home Shoppers get stuck in Analysis Paralysis and how you can spend hundreds of hours and years shopping for “a deal” and never buy a home. Forget About Home Values…How Much Are YOU worth? Another hour spent……click….click….click…getting nowhere in your home search. (At least your wasting your work’s time and not yours!). Then, “what’s this?” Could it be the home of your dreams! Its perfect! So much nicer than the others, price is right, it just feels like home!! Oh Boy! It’s finally time to do it….actually speak to a human being and proclaim that you are officially a Home Buyer. You call the phone number on the website or the online ad. Or perhaps you are still hoping that you can actual buy a home without ever needing to talk to anyone (We’re all guilty, its cool) and you email and request more information. You may assume that, within minutes, you will receive a call from the Listing Agent. Most likely NOT THE CASE.

REALITY CHECK – Highly Ranked Websites and most online ads are not Real Estate Company Websites. They’re LEAD GENERATION sites. When you do finally raise your hand as a potential home buyer, many times your information is taken down by the online company and then SOLD to a Real Estate Agent, not the Agent who listed the home for sale but rather a Real Estate Agent who buys “leads”.

Neither one has a clue about the house you’re calling about and frankly NEITHER CARE! (Your confidential info is worth about $30 in case you were wondering)

Tips on How To Find Your Home Online At The Best Price

  1. Research SOLDS. The market is what has SOLD, not what’s been for sale for 6 months. Get a lists of homes that have sold in the price range or neighborhood you are looking in.
  2. Loan PreApproval. You’ve heard it before, but especially now, its critical to have a full PreApproval in your hand. Nothing worse than spending months researching only to find that you qualify for less home than you thought or that your credit score isn’t quite as good as you though. There’s no real downside to doing this and it will really dial your search in.
  3. Get accurate, up to date, dialed in data. Yes, shopping and researching is fun. But if you are committed to buying a home whether its this week or next year, the best way to do that is to gain access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The only way to do that is through a Real Estate Agent. (I know, you’ve been on websites that say “Search The MLS” and you’ve been searching….re-read Myth 1 if necessary”
  4. Get some help. All of this resistance to working with a great Agent is quite comical when you realize that enlisting a Agent’s help is FREE. Its not as though you HAVE to buy a house either.

How To Find Your Home With Us Using These Strategies

We’ve got Buyer Representation dialed in and super easy. All you do is hit the link below and complete the VIP Buyer Form. CLICK HERE

We give you the real story on what’s going on:

  • An accurate overview of each local market. What $x buys you here etc based on recent SOLD homes. Photos, maps details included.
  • The truth behind what’s going on inside the lending institutions with Short Sales, REO, Preforeclosures, etc.
  • Help you secure the best financing and the most comfortable monthly payment for you.

We help you with a plan:

  • Determine which homes and neighborhoods best suit your needs.
  • Get you into homes to really narrow things down.
  • Decide what types of deals you want to focus on based on your time frame and criteria. (REO, Preforeclosure, Short Sale, Traditional)
  • And (the best part) how we can help you steal a deal.

Our trade secrets are just that because no one else has worked as hard as us to build this process. One Realtor is not enough to find you your home if you want a deal in San Diego. It takes a team which is why there are 5 of us researching, sniffing around, and sitting at conference room tables and kitchen tables negotiating on your behalf. Remember, there is NO COST OR OBLIGATION to this program. Happy Home Shopping!

Rebecca Austin is the Broker/President of New Team Realty in Carlsbad California.  With 12 years experience, her team specializes in North San Diego County home buyers, Short Sale and REO transactions. Visit her VIP Buyer website at or email her at   

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Comments (4)

john john
Los Angeles, CA

When i saw your post title it triggered my memory of a post a read a couple months back on a new real estate website that was doing a beta test in san diego... 


The site was a buy your house online type site, no agents, the site did all the paper work and buyers and seller would negociate.. LOL 


bet that site failed... I am not an agent but after reading thousands of posts on AR i know the general consences is the average person should not buy or sell a house w/o an agent. 

Feb 24, 2011 05:30 AM
Rebecca Austin
The Alliance Group Real Estate Services - Carlsbad, CA
Broker Associate, Sales & Recruitment Manager

Eric, you couldn't be more correct.  Especially in 2011!  Being an expert in your marketplace is critical for Realtors today because its what our clients need.  Thanks!

Feb 24, 2011 05:37 AM
Victor Zuniga
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties - San Diego, CA

The Internet and technology have eliminated and automated many things and have also put many businesses out of business. Though I think real estate has benefited greatly and improved greatly thanks to technology there still has to be a human involved in the transaction. Not using an agent on either side of a real estate transaction isn't a good option.

Feb 24, 2011 05:41 AM
Rebecca Austin
The Alliance Group Real Estate Services - Carlsbad, CA
Broker Associate, Sales & Recruitment Manager

Right on Victor!  It all starts online.  But, when a buyer decides its time to buy or a seller decides its time to sell, that's when its time to back away from the computer and consult with a professional.  And, more and more professionals are emerging in our industry to help.  Thank you!

Feb 24, 2011 07:40 AM