The ubiquitous use of the internet, has changed the way the real estate business is conducted. With a plethora of sites available, buyers are able to conduct their own searches, for homes. Many start their search, before contacting an agent, and most continue to search, on their own, even while working with a REALTOR®.
Consumers search in much the same way, as do real estate agents. They enter the search parameters, such as town(s), price range, number of bedrooms and baths, square footage and acreage. Whatever platform, they are using, then produces listings, that match their criteria.
Here is where the search process takes divergent paths. Using the listings chosen, the consumer gets to read the description and look at the pictures. Both of these items are produced by the listing agent and meant to show the property off, to its best advantage. Agents will also start with the description and pictures, but their market knowledge and expertise will allow them to filter out the properties that do not work, for their clients. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but what isn't pictured may be more relevant. The agents will already be familiar with the homes, having seen them on Broker's Tour, or if they haven't seen them, they can arrange to preview them.
The picture of the gorgeous back yard, taken facing the back of the house, may not reveal that the property line is adjacent to the railroad tracks. The updated bathroom vanity may belie the fact that the rest of bathroom is original 1950 American Standard pink. Taken at the right angle, an eight by ten bedroom can look enormous.
Of course, it can work in reverse, as well. The listing agent may have posted some G-d awful pictures of a home that is actually charming. Or the pictures may simply be poor quality. I have seen some pictures that are so dark, it is hard to discern what room has been photographed.
When first working with clients, I will show them all the houses they've selected to see. Once we have established that we are on the same wavelength, they will usually rely on my judgement to eliminate the listings that are a waste of our time. Often the tour will include a combination of homes that the buyers have chosen, along with homes that I have added.
Recently, a buyer said to me, "As usual, the homes you picked are better choices than the homes I chose to see." Searching, on the internet, is a great exercise, but it doesn't replace a knowlegable agent.
Copyright © 2008 Marilyn Katz, All Rights Reserved, Active Rain - A picture may be worth a thousand words - but doesn't replace an agent
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Copyright © 2013 Marilyn Katz, All Rights Reserved