Whether you are actively searching for your next home or simply curious about the value of homes in your neighborhood, online real estate viewing has become our national pastime.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 42 percent of home buyers start their home search online and 92 percent use the Internet during the home search process. While the Internet can be a good place to start, nothing can take the place of an experienced, professional realtor to help you buy or sell a home.
St. Petersburg realtor Estelia Mesimer has been selling real estate for over 22 years and cautions people to keep in mind that while Google is great for most searches, the one place it falls short is in real estate.
How do you know which of the countless real estate sites on the Internet are really worth your time? Your best bet is to go to the listing broker’s website. It may have even more information than the MLS site – and you’re going right to the horse’s mouth.
5 Reasons You Should Work with a Licensed Real Estate Agent
1. Pricing Your Home: When setting a listing price, agents consider scores of factors, from local and national market trends and neighborhood development activity to the latest buyer preferences for kitchen appliances and landscaping. Every home is unique, and an agent with a track record of success knows how to price it attractively in the market.
2. Transaction Process: If you find a home you love online, the website won’t be there to guide you through a mortgage application, find a home inspector or advise you what to do if an inspection reveals issues – a realtor will.
3. Neighborhood Knowledge: Agents either possess intimate knowledge or they know where to find the industry information about your neighborhood. They can identify comparable sales and hand these facts to you, in addition to pointing you in the direction where you can find more data on schools, crime or demographics.
4. Marketing Offline: While online marketing can certainly be valuable, agents have networks of contacts and years of experience to round out their marketing plans. And, for buyers, agents often can tap into their network to learn about great properties before they hit the real estate websites or even the MLS.
5. Negotiations: Having an experienced, professional negotiator drive your transaction can be vital to reaching a fair price for the property you are buying or selling. Yes, a website can give you an estimate of how much a property should cost, but it can’t evaluate whether that’s a great price or not.
Bottom Line: The Internet can offer buyers and sellers a wealth of information, but what it can’t offer is the human touch. If you’re really interested in buying a home, the best advice is that once you’ve narrowed down your selection get off the Internet, find a licensed agent and visit the homes in person to get a feel for the property and neighborhood.
St. Petersburg Communities
If you’re interested in any of these of communities or live in one of them and are thinking of selling, call Estelia today!
Greater Pinellas Point
Historic Old Northeast
Historic Roser Park
Isla del Sol