Online Shopping Tips for Buyers - Archived

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For most of my life I have been a store shopper. I like to see my options first hand, check out the fabric, inspect the quality, basically know what I’m buying before I buy it. The more I browse the web for items I find in dire need of, like a nice pair of boots for example, the more I find myself changing my ways. It’s hard to deny the ease of being able to shop 10 stores in the matter of an hour all without leaving your couch or putting on pants, right? So why would it be any different if you’re shopping for a house? Well, let me tell ya…

There is a plethora of websites to peruse what’s on the market in your area. From the big guys like Zillow and Realtor and those that cater to niche markets. But is it good content? Is it timely and accurate, are the photos an honest depiction of the property, and is it really for sale? I mean, let’s face it, you can find the perfect boots on line, but will they really fit and are they in stock? Here are some tips of when to start – and when to stop – your virtual house hunt.

When you are first kicking around the idea of buying is a great time to be shopping in the comfort of your pajamas. That’s when you get an idea of what style you prefer, what the difference in price ranges are, and light that spark of excitement! Once you decide to take a more serious step forward, though, your online shopping should come to an end. Here’s why:

When you start calling about the homes you’ve been eyeing you’ll quickly tire of hearing they are already under contract, in other words on their way to being sold. The reason for this is the MLS system for our area reports properties that have a contract on them as ‘contingent’ instead of ‘under contract’ which outside algorithms do not compute. Therefore, they will show as ‘active’ when they actually aren’t and that gets very frustrating very fast. The good news is, there’s another way!

At this point you want to work with a professional Realtor. Keep in mind in almost 100% of the cases when buying our services are FREE to you! I also recommend talking with a few then pick one person you are comfortable working with. As long as they are licensed and affiliated with a broker in the state of WV they can sell you any house you choose regardless of who it’s listed with. Plus, we have tools at our disposal that can provide you the most up to date information of what’s available, and what’s not. This gives you one source that can streamline information and guide you through the process of getting to the closing table.

So, log on in the beginning but know when it’s time to unplug and find a knowledgeable expert. We do this every day, after all. And as for the boots? They have a far easier return policy, so keep on clicking…

Melissa Berube, 2019 MBOR President