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Looking for Homes Online: Why it is better to see the homes in person

It is easy to fall in love with most homes listed online these days. In a bid to appeal to the buyers’ emotion, online listings can present a very picturesque and romantic impression of a home to homebuyers.

Any homebuyer who’s using a PC, laptop, or a mobile device can now view homes instantly. Gone are the days where much of the home buying experience depended on one’s imagination…columns of tiny photos crammed with small text are now replaced with animated tours, virtual walkthroughs, and panoramic images.  While these technological marvels have significantly enhanced the home-buying process, it still behooves the average home-buyer to do their complete due diligence, starting with an in-person visit.

The visuals are now more enticing.

Prospective homebuyers are now treated to a closer look at the available properties through virtual walkthroughs. Aside from photos, drone shots are also presented to provide a better perspective of the home’s location. Due to the editing process, the real image of the home may be modified, so the rooms may appear larger than its actual dimensions.

What you see may not be what you’ll get.

Today’s listing agents ensure that the homes under their responsibility are presented in the most competitive way possible. Hence, the positive features of the home are highlighted, while trying to deflect the buyers’ attention from the not-so-charming areas of the property.

This is why going through multiple property showings brings out a flurry of emotions. Homebuyers would likely get disappointed upon learning that the home feels different in person. As the home may be staged at the time of listing, it may no longer have that “awesomeness” feeling upon the actual showing.

If it has some weird smell, or signs of wear and tear, it’s quite hard to tell.

Musty carpets, pet odors, and some needed repairs will not be disclosed by the seller. It may just take a few minutes of observing before these things are noticed during an open house. There are sellers who will just paint over or put up scented fresheners to mask the home issues. This is why homebuyers should not yet decide on any home found online before taking a deeper inspection.

Visiting the actual home provides a feel of its location.

Whether the house is located on a busy street or near noisy neighbors, online listings rarely provide clues. Even if the description says that the home has a peaceful environment, buyers still have to experience the community to find out if it’s true.

Unattractive photos may hide that dream home.

There are homes which may look outdated and shoddy in pictures. Bad lighting, distorted shots, and grainy photos are oftentimes the result of poor photography. Do not let photography alone alter your decision on whether you will view a home or not.  If the property specifications fall within the buyer’s budget and criteria, then the home should be looked at. It may just be the perfect one.


In a Redfin commissioned survey done by SurveyGizmo from 2016 to 2017, around 35% of homebuyers (from 14 US cities) made an offer on a home sight-unseen. It is a new trend that busy, millennial homebuyers find convenient. In this process, the agent sees the actual home and relays the details to the homebuyer. However, it will take a very detailed and reliable buyer’s agent for these types of transactions to be successful.

As “95% of homebuyers use the internet to look for homes”, it is still a huge risk to buy a home based on its online information alone. Home buying is a lifetime investment, and data verification is a must. Viewing homes in person, though exhausting, generates a more informed decision for the homebuyer.

Looking for a home in Southern Oklahoma? Bryan County OK is an affordable location with lots of great homes to see and choose from. We will be glad to show you around. Call or email today.

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