Top 5 Mistakes Buyers Make When Searching for a Home – Part 1

Buyer Mistake #1: Believing all the property information online is accurate and up-to-date.

With so much available information online, finding your dream house yourself is a good possibility. Over 90% of buyers search for their homes online before they ever step into one.

There are just a couple of things you need to be aware of:

1. The online real estate information is not always current.
Although many of the websites update their inventory of homes daily, it’s not always the case. If there are any server or programming issues, it can delay those updates, sometimes for days….and the websites don’t share when this happens.

Although I haven’t seen this happen recently, had a two week cushion for new listings to be displayed. Yes, this delay has happened in the past! Not all the information is available on every site. You can’t always tell if a property is a short sale versus a private sale when searching independently online. Also properties in contract but waiting for contingencies to clear, such as inspection, may still display as active on these sites. I even had a rental condo show up for sale online at the unbelievable price of $1200. I got LOTS of calls on it! Unfortunately, the listing agent, their broker, nor the multiple listing service, have full control over how third party sites display the listing details.

Partnering with a Real Estate Agent allows you to get access to the information at the source. The searches they set up are real time, and are not filtered through multiple sources as many of the public real estate search sites are. If you see something on Trulia, Zillow or any other site that meets your search criteria and it’s not showing up in what a real estate agent is sending you…. 99.9% of the time it is already in contract or is missing one of the criterion you stated as important to you.

2. The real estate “deals” that are in good shape, sell fast, even in this market.
If your dream house falls within this category, it’s best if you have an established a relationship with a Realtor and a Lender so you can jump on it quickly.

How do I know this?
For the past 10+ years, I’ve advised other REALTORS® in North America how to market their listings online. I’ve worked extensively through these platforms and know their benefits and drawbacks.

Up Next – Buyer Home Search Mistake #2: Assuming an agent will let you into a house with very little personal information.