The Internet is a valuable home-buying tool. It’s a great source of information, and one of the most powerful tools that new homebuyers can utilize. You can use the Internet for preliminary shopping on the Web, before you ever talk to a real estate agent. What are the benefits of doing preliminary home shopping on the Web?
Get an idea of what’s available in your area.
One of the biggest benefits of using the Web for preliminary home shopping is to get an idea of what’s available in your area. It’s difficult to form a realistic assessment of what you want before you even know what’s there.
For example, if you want a two bedroom in a family neighborhood, you might be disappointed to find out that most of the homes in that area are larger three and four bedroom homes. Knowing what’s available in an area helps you make educated decisions about where you want to live, and whether or not it offers what you’re looking for.
Evaluate features and decide what you want in a home.
If you’ve never shopped for a home before, you may have no idea what features are important to you. You might take for granted that all homes nowadays have a dishwasher, for example, but you might discover during your preliminary shopping that many older kitchens still don’t have dishwashers. Or you might have never given thought to garage size, but realize when looking that you’ll need a two-car garage and a storage shed for your vehicles and your lawn equipment. Preliminary shopping exposes you to home features and amenities, and gives you an opportunity to decide which ones are important to you.
Get a picture of prices in an area.
The final part of the picture is given prices in an area. Many new home buyers start out with a picture in their minds of the home they want, but discover during the buying process that the home they want simply isn’t available in the desired price point, or maybe not in the desired neighborhood. Without doing some preliminary shopping, this realization might come after a realtor has shown you a dozen houses – or more. Get an idea of pricing before you begin shopping, to save both you and your realtor time.