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How To Use The Internet to Buy or Sell a Home

Written by: Kristy Welsh

Last Updated: August 10, 2017

Using the internet to buy and sell a home has become commonplace for the average American. You can now view homes for sale, list your house for sale, and see what homes are selling for in your neighborhood all in the comfort of your home office.

No longer must you randomly select some smooth talking real estate salesperson just to get an overview of what your dream home may cost, or to educate you on what it might take to sell your existing home. Thanks to the technology available via the internet, the market has changed. The percentage of home buyers using the internet for their search has gone from 20 percent (in 1995) to over 84 percent now. Using these tools, consumers are now the masters of their own fate, and this is a great thing for all of us.

Not all real estate professionals would agree, but potential customers are much more empowered, and educated, regarding the state of the market, available properties within their budget, and what their competition is out there. At the tips of their fingers are a number of web sites which will provide them with nearly the same listings of properties that are available to real estate agents on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or other similar property listing services. Potential buyers are now able to choose the information they view, how and when they view it, and be able to do so without interference from anyone.

With consumers having all this information power available to them day or night, at no charge you'd think realtors would be concerned there is no place left for their services. But really, it's the opposite. By the time a buyer, or seller, does decide they need a realtor, they've done a good amount of the work. They know what they want, and we have less groundwork to cover. Or, in other cases, a consumer who might have otherwise required a significant amount of time and research only to decide this is not the right time for them to make a move, has reached this conclusion without representation. 

Websites Used to Search For Properties

So what are all these websites consumers can utilize to do their searches or market their properties by owner? Here is a list of some of the sites that we've found that seem to be popular, and offer the type of information and services potential homebuyers and sellers are seeking.

For buyers only, there are a number of web sites you can go to view foreclosed properties directly from HUD, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, etc.

Technology has fueled this cultural shift, facilitated by consumers' desires to move away from old-fashioned high pressure sales and from traditional advertising. Today's buyers want to have the power to decide what they look for, who they talk to (or don't talk to), and who they do business with. And with the market fraught with foreclosure properties, now more than ever there are deals to be had and you have to act quickly. Sounds reasonable to us!

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