Let me be frank: house-hunting online can be a complete pain for realtors and clients alike. There have been many instances when people come to me saying they found a home they absolutely love on websites like Zillow, but the listing was posted a couple days ago, or maybe even a week ago. While these websites may have access to the MLS, they often struggle keeping up-to-date on homes that may be under contract. In fact, in markets like Colorado’s, online house-hunting can be a real bummer. Not only do you have to keep extremely up-to-date on houses posted, but you have to consider the fact that others are doing the same thing. Houses that have been on the market for 1 day are known to already have 5 offers! That is why it is recommended (especially in Colorado) to have a realtor that can be on the constant look-out for your dream home; they do all the work for you.
But perhaps you want to take a bit of control in the process. Wanting control in your home is completely understandable, but that doesn’t undermine the fact that you must remain diligent in your search. So that brings me to my first tip in house-hunting online:
Stay up-to-date on your search
Staying up-to-date is crucial because, as I’ve said, there may be other offers on the home or it may even be under contract already. This might even mean refreshing your Zillow search every hour to see when things go on the market. You can also request that your realtor be on the search as well because they get a notification when houses go on the market that have your specifications. Even then, the pictures you find on Zillow could be very misleading:
Pictures can be deceiving
While a house may have your specific ideals to your dream house, real estate photographers are absolutely experts at making a home look too good to be true. For example, some photographers will use different lenses to make some rooms look bigger than they really are. They also can exclude pictures that look distasteful; like an outdated bathroom or a very small closet. That is why it is imperative to see the home before you put an offer in.
See it to believe it
Seeing a home is how you get the full scope of the place you want to move into. Contact your realtor as soon as you find the home you want to put an offer on so that they can schedule a showing as soon as possible. Let’s say you’re out of town, thus not able to participate in a showing in-person. That’s okay! Your realtor is able to video call you and let you get an idea of the space as in-person as possible. Let your realtor be your eyes and ears as long as they know exactly what you want and/or need.
House hunting is sometimes not as glamorous as the shows on HGTV lead on. There may be times where you put an offer on a house that you really loved and it won’t be accepted by the seller…and that is okay! Your realtor will be able to find you a house that you eventually get accepted on. The road to buying your dream home is, at times, arduous to say the least, but when you finally sign that contract, the wait will be worth it!