With the invention of the internet, the entire way in which we communicate has forever changed. Messages which once took days, or months, to transmit are now shared in real time. Naturally, the way in which we conduct business has also transformed. This includs the way industries advertise, market, sell and purchase their services and goods. The real estate market is no exception to this fast-paced business reality. Using technology to buy or sell your home has thoroughly changed the process. While technology absolutely does enhance the real estate industry in many ways, there will always be some things that technology can never replace.
Selling (Seeking the perfect someone to call your place “Home”)
The single most important advance in using technology to sell real estate is the ability to market and showcase a property to a wide audience. Instead of relying on printed photographs, open houses and in-person showings, sellers now use videos and 3D images to enhance their property’s value and qualities. Web pages and apps assist sellers in further highlighting value-added or specific features, price drops, location and unique amenities designed to capture a buyer.
Today, a seller simply checks boxes to include features on their online profile to come up in the buyer’s search results. This saves both time and money in identifying and matching potential buyers with sellers.
Real-time data is also available to assist sellers. Competition can be fierce in some areas. The difference between making a sale and missing an opportunity can often be measured in mere hours. Keeping on top of neighborhood sales, open houses, and price reductions provides sellers using technology an advantage over those who do not.
Buying (Finding that perfect place to call “Home”)
As with sellers, using technology to buy gives you the ability to pre-shop a home online. Most homes for sale these days are put online through a number of websites. Buyers are able to review the entire property online instead of driving around. Advanced search options for buyers offer the opportunity to customize and narrow searches to their specific preferences.
Buyers are now also able to search for other information about a property’s value and history. Past sales, price reductions, short sales and a host of other information can be found online. It’s not as exhaustive as the information available to licensed Realtors, but it’s a thorough start.
Next Steps In Selling/Purchasing
Buyers and sellers using technology can share and edit documents. An offer to purchase, disclosures, inspections, financial information and legal forms using dedicated platforms for reviewing and signing documents are available electronically. Nowadays, an entire property can be sold and bought via computers, cell phones or other mobile devices. Time has always been money! Most people welcome all technological advances whether buying or selling a home.
What Technology Can’t Do
In most industries, technology is used as a tool to enhance a business for efficiency and reliability. A computer doesn’t work without a person tapping on a keyboard… and buying or selling your home is a very personal undertaking. Most online platforms allow prospective buyers to draw a radius on a map and input multiple search criteria. The sheer volume of returned results can be annoying at best or overwhelming and disheartening at worst.
While the proper use of technology can accelerate a search and introduce you to what’s available in an area, nothing will ever replace a boots-on-the-ground approach to both buying and selling real-estate.