Let's face it. We all love surfing the internet. It has streamlined our lives. We depend on it for so many conveniences, today. It's a way of life. So, in shopping for a home, surfing the internet is great! Or is it?
When looking at houses on the internet, buyers are making judgments based on the pictures included with the listing. If the picture quality is poor, often these houses are overlooked, only to sit on the market for an endless number of months, growing stagnant. Many buyers don’t want to look at them. On the other hand, some pictures highlight the home’s best features. They leave out the details about the unfinished work that needs to be done or the room that is falling down in the back.
Three times in the past 2 days I have had buyers say, ‘This house looks nothing like the pictures advertising it online.’ Is that good or bad? Does it look better or worse than the pictures advertising it? In one case, the buyer indicated that they were glad they looked at the house, because it was so much nicer than the poor quality pictures representing it online. On the other hand, one house had unfinished flooring, garbage strewn about and miscellaneous pieces of furniture that look forgotten. The floors were filthy. It turned the buyer off. A day’s work could have turned that house into a shiny penny and helped secure a buyer quickly. However, this buyer wasn’t interested in seeing past that. ‘What else is wrong that I can’t see?’ she asked. It was a valid question. She’s looking for a well-loved house that feels warm and cozy when she walks in.
Today, homebuyers are searching online for houses for sale. They often zip through the listings, and send them to the junk bin because they don’t like the pictures. It’s unfortunate, because shopping for a house requires a buyer to go out and see the house. The majority of the time, a buyer chooses a house based on the how he likes the neighborhood and surrounding areas when he drives through. His sense of smell is engaged and he listens with his ears to see if it’s a peaceful, quiet area. All of the senses kick in when looking for a house to buy. How does it feel to him?
So, the next time you see a house online that looks like it suits your wants, needs, price point and the area that you want to be in, grab that lender preapproval letter and call your local Realtor, who is representing you in the buying process. Ask them if the house will qualify for the type of financing you will be getting. Then, get off the couch and go out and look at that house. See it with your own eyes. Don’t let it be the one that got away.