Buyer Beware! Shopping for Property on the Internet May Not Serve Your Best Interests

It’s no secret that people today tend to rely heavily on the internet to do their real estate shopping because it is relatively easy and convenient. While this may a good place to start, we recommend that you don’t rely solely on the internet for such a major purchase such as your dream home, your first home or your next home.

Here are a few reasons why:

1) Correct Listing Information: Not everything on the internet is correct! Some real estate reporting websites have information that is incorrect or not current, such as price reductions, properties already sold, or properties taken off the market. Some websites pull information from another website and don’t follow up on the status changes of the property. When working with a real estate agent, they have the search tools available that can determine the status of a particular property. Therefore, the information they have to give a prospective buyer is correct. By working with an agent, you will be given the correct information on property rather than relying on what you see on the internet.

2) Being Notified about a Property Immediately: When an agent/agency gets a new property listing, they are allowed 3 days before they are obligated to advertise the property on the internet (MLS or Multiple Listing Service). This gives them time to verify the information with the owner, take photos, measurements, determine school zones, and gather other detailed information about the property. If an agent/agency has your name saved on a prospect list and knows what you are looking to purchase, they can contact you as soon as that property becomes available, even before it’s listed on the internet, putting you at the top of their list for a showing. Otherwise, the property you are interested in may show up on the internet on Day 1 as “Pending”.

3) Being Advised of Properties Available: Some properties are listed with a request to remain confidential and may not be listed on the internet. These may be just the properties you are looking for. Some may be posted on a website with no address or real information about the property. This is done mostly in the case of an ongoing business which, in some cases, may be a business inside of a residential listing. An agent can notify you when the property you are looking for becomes available.

4) Help with Finance Options: Real estate agents are familiar with their listings and can typically relate it with a finance option, such as a government loan vs. a non-government loan. While agents/agencies do not handle financing, they can lead you to the right lending company to fit your needs. They can direct you to the proper lending agency, whether it be a bank or a mortgage company that sells or buys their loans, which will suit your needs for the property you have your sights set on. For example, if you are interested in a mobile home, some lending companies handle mobile homes while others do not. Some lending companies handle land-only sales while others do not, and the scope broadens.

5) Safety: Looking at houses on your own with no idea of who is listing it can be a real safety issue. Real estate agents have already met with the client, inspected the home, and verified that it is a valid property listing. Beware if you go out on your own not knowing what you will encounter.

We recommend that when you decide to purchase a property, you call a real estate agent/agency, discuss your needs, and look over the properties that particular agency has to offer or will shop other options to find what suits your needs. Or, begin your search on the internet and call the agency that has the property listed. There is no substitute for working with a real agent, for the reasons listed above and many more.

Call Sunrise Realty (337) 893-9662. Email: sunreal@aol.com.

We are here to serve your needs.

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Sunrise Realty is Licensed with Louisiana Real Estate Commission