How to Shop Online for Your Next Home


When you begin to shop for your next home, you may decide to use the internet as a tool for not only selecting the neighborhood in which you will live, but also researching the homes that are available on the market.

Thanks to the power of the internet, today’s savvy homebuyer has a considerable advantage over buyers in the past. Potential buyers can access important and valuable information to weigh the merits of locations, school districts and other factors that are important to them. Potential buyers also have the ability to look online at the homes listed for sale in the area where they want to live.

Knowing how to shop online for a home is important. Many brokers have websites that list homes that are available for viewing. Some sites let visitors view all homes currently listed for sale on the Multi-List. Other sites introduce potential buyers to for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) options, and there are even sites dedicated to foreclosed properties.

First determine which type of site will work best for you. If you have not limited your selection to foreclosures or FSBOs, then a site that lists all
homes is the most convenient option. Such sites usually do not include FSBO homes. Only those foreclosed properties that are listed on the Multi-List appear on these sites. You may need to use more than one service to discover all the options that are available to you.

When looking for a home in the Novi Real Estate Market or Metro Detroit Real Estate Market, enter search criteria into an online form to indicate specifically what you are interested in. You can limit your search to a specific zip code, city, school district, price range or number of bedrooms.

Once these criteria are entered, you receive a list of homes that meet the minimum criteria that you entered. The list probably will likely include many homes with one or more photos and a description of the home, including the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and the total square footage. You can click on a specific home in the list to get more detailed information, including additional pictures and, in many cases, the address and a map.

Most people generate a list of homes that pique their interest so that they can pass the information on to their real estate agent. Some people are beginning to purchase their homes online, often without even visiting the home.

Rising interest rates are causing bidding wars. Some buyers sit and wait for new listings to appear so that they can make their offer in first. This is not very common, but it is happening in areas where the real-estate market is booming.

Why would anyone purchase a home sight-unseen? For the same reason that people shop online for anything. It is convenient. People are working more hours than ever before and potential buyers are often too busy to view offerings in person. Some people think that the home-shopping process is fun, but others dread it and would prefer to handle any inconvenience rather than pound the pavement in search of the perfect home.

Viewing homes before visiting them remains more popular. However, the trend of bidding online or even completing the purchase online is growing in popularity, albeit only among small groups of people in certain geographic locations.

The savvy potential buyer will spend hours online looking at the various offerings. Most opt to visit the homes that they like well before making a
face-to-face offer, much less an online bid.

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