The chill of the fall season has arrived, and the daylight hours are shorter… so why not shop online? Everyone enjoys the convenience of internet shopping, especially during Cyber Week! This applies to home shopping as well, but an in-person visit with an experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent will be extremely helpful.
With an abundance of websites that provide detailed descriptions, photographs, community information, financial advice and much more, the internet serves as a wonderful starting point for your real estate research. However, here are a few other factors to consider when viewing properties posted on the web.
Photos may not reveal the real picture
Of course, with listing pictures, the intent is to capture a home at its best, but as a potential buyer, you need to know the worst. A good fisheye camera lens can make rooms appear larger and ceilings higher, proper lighting and angle can obscure potential issues, and of course, no one will include a picture of the broken window, hole in the wall or giant crack in the foundation. With that in mind, a sight unseen offer is not advisable without the guidance of a trusted real estate advisor.
While a home can be well prepared for visual presentation, visiting the property can reveal things like leaks, poor maintenance, and odor. Take the time to really scout it out: check the walls/ceilings for evidence of leaks, look in all the nooks and crannies for signs of disrepair or mummified rodent remains, stomp on the floors, raise the windows, open the cabinets, turn on the faucets, flush the toilets and take a good sniff… New paint and carpet can’t hide everything!
Beyond the borders
The written property description and map will show the physical location, but the area surrounding a home is a mystery, especially at the Lake of the Ozarks where the hills abound, the trees are plenty and the roads wind endlessly. There can be a treasure or a shock around any bend, and the only way to obtain a real sense of the neighborhood and community is to “hit the road”. The neighboring home may actually be within spitting distance, and the “gentle lot” in the description may run right up to a virtual cliffside. You may find that the driveway would be too steep in the rain or snow for your comfort or that the trip to the grocery store would require a snack break!
The bottom line is that the internet is what it is… a fabulous and magnanimous source of information, but it cannot replace the benefit of a personal visit to your potential dream home. You will be able to narrow the field and can probably create a short list of what you believe to be your favorites, but once you have accumulated a mountain of data, you should plan a trip. A qualified real estate professional can add so much to the entire process. Not only can one of our agents with the Jason Whittle All Pro Team provide further insight about the market, expertise in negotiating and home purchase, but they can also provide in depth information about the homes, which they have likely visited repeatedly. They have probably already stomped the floors, flushed the toilets, and spit on the house next door!
Visit our website at JasonWhittle.com to further your research, and please give us a call when you are ready for a showing.
Jason Whittle All Pro Team, RE/MAX Lake of the Ozarks