The rise of personal computing and the internet has allowed many tasks that previously required a lot of legwork, such as booking travel accommodations or buying a home, without ever leaving your couch. Though online home purchasing has not yet reached the pinnacle of its development, you can make ample use of the internet during your next home purchase. Let us show you how.
Real estate agents have recognized that the internet is the future and have taken steps to increase their web presence. You will find that most realtors have their own websites containing information on everything from condo real estate in Toronto (for example) to how to apply for a mortgage. Reading this material is a good way to get a feel for what the agent is like. With email and e-application features you can even hire them without actually going into the office.
Home searching is the most developed part of the e-home buying experience. With the help of MLS (Multiple Listings Service) databases, you can find prices and pictures of Miami real estate without having to make a costly house hunting trip. Mapping services like Mapquest or Google Maps allow you to chart its location in real space and see what the neighborhood is like. Some services even allow you to virtually tour the house, removing the need for you to even see the house before you put in an offer.
Negotiations and Closing
Negotiations are just a conversation between you and the seller (or your agent and the seller's agent), so as you may have guessed, there's really no need to actually be in the same physical space. You can accomplish the same results by communicating via telephone or email. Just remember that even if you're resolved to buy your real estate without a realtor's aid, you'll still need get a report from a home inspector and a lawyer draw up the sale agreement, but these can come in the form of emailed attachments if you like.
As with any sort of transaction over the internet, the fact that you can't see who you're dealing with puts you at increased risk for fraud. To make sure the real estate agent you're about to hire is really a local real estate agent, do independent searches in message boards and post questions online away from their website to vet them. We also recommend looking up the homeowner you're buying from in the public records to make sure he or she really does own the home. It is always better to have a trusted person actually IN the city to see things with real eyes on your behalf.