Technology has reached new levels for the Realtor in today's Virtual World. The home buyer can actually sit in the comfort of their present home and view all future homes just as if they were actually there. I am just amazed where technology has taken us.
Internet Data Exchange (IDX)
The Internet Data Exchange is a service available to real estate agents today to display their listings through internet feeds that bring the home search process to new levels. Services are available to all real estate agents at a very reasonable price. Realtors are able to actually bring their MLS listings to life.
Virtual Earth is a software program available through Microsoft, that provides Maps and Pictures of MLS listings that can be viewed online just as if you were live on location. Just left click on the picture within the listing and you can view the listing's neighborhood homes, mountains and parks live.
Virtual Tours are available with many of the MLS listings online. VT's are generated by the listing agent when he inputs his/her listing into the MLS. VT is the process of laying pictures together making it look as if you are viewing the home within a movie.
Bottom line, technology has given the home buyer, resources that he/she has never had before. Pick a Realtor's Website within your search area and view all the homes that meet your search criteria, right from the comfort of your own home. Once you have found your Dream Home schedule an appointment with your Buyer Representative and view the home in person. For an example of IDX and Virtual Earth, go to this MLS Home Search, find a listing within the search, then, let it come to life.