Real Estate In The 21st Century
Far be it from us to not applaud the cascades of information available on any topic over the Internet. We are truly in a new age, where you can be plugged into the latest data anywhere you go. With regard to the real estate industry, homes can be toured online (in your underwear if you like) and a lot of information about homes for sale is readily available. But (you knew there was a “but” coming), the Internet’s not all lollipops and candy canes for house hunters (or sellers). Here are a few reasons why:
- Timeliness: There are many national realtors who try to keep their multiple listings up to date. Unfortunately, many users have found this information to be woefully inadequate – listings of homes for sale include many ones that have already sold and lack the newest ones just put up for sale. If I was interested in, say, San Diego real estate, I would use a local realtor that specialized in San Diego. They have the ability to focus on their target market and provide the timeliest information.
- Interpretation: Multiple listing services (MLS) are now online. However, this data is not for the uninitiated. It takes skill to interpret MLS data and put it in context. Also, once again, you have to make sure the MLS provider you are using is keeping the information up to date. Self-service in this regard may lead users to see fewer properties and do more work. We think it’s best to work closely with a local realtor to help you understand MLS data.
- Virtual Landlords: We have heard of landlords who place a lot of cameras on their rental properties and try to handle all problems over the computer. This is a recipe for disaster. There are so many things that can go wrong with rental property, and there is nothing better than having professional management on your side. Extending our previous example, if I needed property management San Diego style, I would choose a local property manager who had a long track record handling rental properties. Believe me, the hassles this saves is worth every dollar of fee.
The argument I’m making is that, when it comes to real estate, help is better than do-it-yourself, and professional local help is better than nationwide realty giants. Whether you are buying, selling or renting, make sure you pick a local realtor who can provide you with complete, timely data and knows how to interpret it properly.