That’s right, the internet is lying to you. Yea, I know it’s hard to believe. But, check this out. If you’re in the process of looking for a house to buy, the internet could actually be getting in your way! It just might be playing defense, putting up a stalwart goal line stand— and preventing you from scoring a touchdown. Yea, I know that the majority of people start their home search on the web. And, that’s making use of a handy tool. (Heck, I use it all of the time myself.) The problem arises when people start to believe that houses live on the web, that you can actually walk through them in some kind of virtual world and get a true feel for how they look, feel, sound, smell. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way- not in the real world. (And last time I checked that’s where most of us still live.)
Even looking at a property from the street doesn’t get it done. What looks terrible or great from the street might have a totally different take from inside. (I say this after having walked through thousands of houses with hundreds of clients.) What we’ve learned is this-
- Sometimes when the view from the street is just so-so, the view from inside the house looking out is quiet, peaceful, pretty even.
- Sometimes the noise of traffic or kids that we hear on the street doesn’t catch your attention when you’re sitting on the back deck or in front of the fireplace.
- Sometimes the room that didn’t look big enough in the photo online has a couple more feet on the side the photo didn’t capture.
- Sometimes the kitchen that looked pink is really a pale peach color and goes just fine with your favorite dishes.
- Sometimes that closed in look seen in the photos online opens up with vaulted ceilings or 10 foot ceilings or an L shaped floor plan that really opens things up.
- Sometimes that lack of space is more than made up for with a bonus room, finished attic, second garage or outbuilding that wasn’t even mentioned or photographed.
- And sometimes a house just exudes a certain charm and feels like “home” to you!
Now, do these things happen all of the time? Heck no. Some of the times the house is worse than the photos— and some times it is better. And at other times, once you get inside a house you figure out what’s most important to you and what works and doesn’t. You do that enough times and before long, what d’ya know… you’ve found “The One.” And isn’t that the point of looking?!
When looking for properties that might be of interest to a client, the internet helps me filter through dozens of properties really quik like. Occasionally I go online and flip through 4 or 500 hundred properties in a single morning. BUT, I’ve never seen a client actually buy a house online. No, to find “The One” does require that you walk through a half dozen properties in order to begin to find “The One.” It’s a numbers game. In fact, the average buyer walks through nine houses before they make a successful offer and get the keys to their new home. So, if you’ve been getting plenty of screen time but haven’t gotten started on your nine houses, then maybe it’s time to take a look inside for REAL. (That is— if you want to stop looking and start finding?!)