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Shopping for a new home is difficult and time-consuming. With all of the homes listed for sale, it’s tempting to want to visit all of them. However, if you’re juggling house-hunting with your work and personal life, then you likely won’t have time to set aside many hours to visit several homes.
This is where you can use technology to your advantage. With free, modern tools online you can find out plenty about a house and the neighborhood it’s in without ever having to go and visit it. Better yet, you can do so in just a few minutes right from home.
In this article, we’re going to teach you how to become a real estate investigator from the comfort of your own couch, helping you save time while hunting for the perfect home for you.
Know what you’re looking for
While it’s okay to browse homes for pleasure, when it comes to getting serious about buying a home you’ll want to keep your search as specific as possible. Think about what you or your family need in a house and neighborhood, rather than focusing on idealized versions of those things.
A good way to do this is to sit down and make a list of your budget and the five most important things you’re looking for in a home. These could be things like distance to work, being in a certain school district, or having a certain number of bedrooms. Once you have these details in mind you can begin your search.
There are a number of search tools for locating homes near you. The key to searching, however, isn’t the tool you use but how you search. Refer to your list for things like room numbers, square footage, and location.
If you don’t come up with as many hits as you’d like, try setting up email or text alerts so you can be made aware of the new results for your area.
Once you have a list of about ten properties, you’re ready to start researching them further to see which sellers you want to contact to view the home.
Researching a potential home
Many people are surprised at the number of things you can learn about a home just from a Google search. However, Google will be an indispensable tool in your search for the perfect home.
Let’s start our search on Google Maps. Type in the address for the house you’re researching and see if there are any photos of the home that aren’t on the listing page. Next, enter the satellite view of the home to get an idea of the layout of the home and property.
While you’re in Google Maps, it’s a good idea to browse the local area for businesses, hospitals, schools, parks, and other services that might affect your decision. Then, set a driving route between the house and your place of work to find out how long it would take you to get to work if you moved there.
Once you’re done in Google Maps, head back to the Google search page and browse the results for the address. This could show you information on previous owners, prices, and crime statistics. All of this will be useful information in your search.
Repeat this search method for the rest of your homes on your list and you’ll be narrowing down potential homes to visit in no time.
Your luxury home is a major investment, so it’s important to make sure that you’re approaching the selling process the right way. Selling a luxury home comes with certain challenges that you’re less likely to encounter with a non-luxury home. Luxury homes aren’t as numerous overall, so you’ll have to work harder to attract more buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors, only 13 percent of first-time and repeat home buyers purchased homes costing $500,000 or more, and only 9 percent purchased homes measuring 3,501 square feet or more. Keep the following tips on selling luxury homes in mind before putting yours on the market.
Get the Pricing Right
Determining the right price for a luxury home can be a challenge. You might not have other comparable homes nearby to help you figure out your listing price, or your home might have special features that could make it worth more. Asking for too much for your luxury home could mean that it ends up staying on the market longer than you expected, especially since the number of buyers for these homes overall tends to be smaller. Asking too little means you’re missing out on getting what your luxury home is worth.
Think Twice About Open Houses
Open houses are a common part of the marketing process for non-luxury homes. However, you might not want to have them for you luxury home. Anyone can attend open houses, which means you’re likely to have people stop by who have no intention of making an offer on your home. In addition to wasting your time, these open houses could also make it easy for criminals to target your home. Instead of open houses, consider arranging private showings for buyers who have a genuine interest in purchasing your home and the financial ability to do so.
Use High-Quality Photos and Videos
When marketing your luxury home, make sure you use high-end cameras for photos and videos. The quality of these can have a huge impact on how successful your online and offline marketing efforts are. High-quality photos and videos are an important part of attracting buyers and making an initial favorable impression on them.
Find an Experienced Real Estate Agent
When you work with a real estate agent to sell your home, make sure that you find one who has experience in the luxury market. Selling luxury homes involves taking different factors into consideration compared to selling non-luxury homes. A real estate agent without this experience might have a more difficult time selling your home or overlook important ways to attract the right buyer. Real estate agents with in-depth knowledge of how to sell luxury homes provide you with valuable help when your home is on the market, including helping you determine the right price for it.
Although you've enjoyed your residence for many years, all good things must come to an end. Now, as you get ready to embark on the next stage of your life, you've decided to leave your neighbors behind and sell your house.
Ultimately, there are many reasons why you should include your neighbors in the home selling process, including:
1. Your neighbors can help you promote your residence.
It may be tough to tell your neighbors that you plan to relocate in the foreseeable future. However, doing so may help you stir up interest from many potential property buyers.
For example, a neighbor may know a family member or friend who is interested in moving into the neighborhood. And if you give this neighbor a heads-up about your intent to sell your house, you may already have at least one person who is interested in buying your house as soon as it becomes available.
Your neighbors also can share your property listing with assorted family members and friends. In addition, don't forget to encourage your neighbors to promote your house on social media.
2. Your neighbors may be able to offer home selling insights.
Your neighborhood likely is full of property owners who understand the ins and outs of buying a house. Furthermore, your neighbors may be able to provide home selling insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.
It never hurts to ask a neighbor what he or she thinks of your home. By doing so, you can gain honest, unbiased feedback about your residence and may be able to identify problem areas that you previously did not consider. Then, you can allocate the time and resources to improve your home's exterior and interior and ensure your house stands out in a competitive real estate market.
3. Your neighbors can help keep your neighborhood looking great.
Your neighbors may want you to stay in the neighborhood. But if your neighbors are true friends, they will probably do whatever they can to help you achieve your desired home selling results.
Letting your neighbors know that you plan to list your house may lead them to upgrade their properties as well. This may enable all of the houses in a neighborhood to stand out to visitors and will make it simple for homebuyers to envision what life would be like if they moved into the neighborhood.
Lastly, if you need extra help as you get ready to sell your home, feel free to reach out to a real estate agent. With a housing market professional at your side, you should have no trouble navigating the home selling journey.
A real estate agent will provide expert tips throughout each stage of the home selling process. Plus, he or she will set up home showings, negotiate with property buyers on your behalf and do everything possible to simplify the home selling cycle.
Collaborate with your neighbors throughout the home selling journey, and you can boost your chances of a quick home sale.