Home Shopping Online Vs. Real-Life

Home Shopping Online Vs. Real-Life

 

Many homebuyers start the search online. It is a great way to see many of the market offerings in a quick time frame (and you can do it in your PJs, so that’s a win!). It’s a great tool for shopping; but before you buy, be sure to step inside. When browsing online, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Unrealistic Expectations— Houses online are like super models—they were likely styled and made up to look their very best for the photos. That same model may look very different first thing in the morning with no makeup on. In person, the true beauty (or lack thereof) will show through, but more than likely, it will not be as “picture perfect” as the screen.
  • Camera Angles Lie— Have you ever tried to take a picture of something on vacation and you just couldn’t seem to capture it like it really is? In the age of photo-editing software and wide-angle cameras, it is extremely difficult to get a true sense of the size of a room from a photo. Cameras often create a disparity between what is seen “on screen” and the true-life picture, so a room that may seem tiny in a photo may actually be large and a room that looked huge is much smaller than you expected.
  • Omitted Negatives—When a property is being marketed online, there is typically a limit to how long the property description can be. With limited space, the positives will be featured to draw potential buyers and any possible negative aspects will not be mentioned. What may be a selling point to you may be a deal-breaker to someone else, so be prepared for the unexpected during in-person tours
  • Five Senses—When browsing homes online, you’re only using your eyes; but when in person, you’re using all your senses. Your computer can’t tell you that the house that looked immaculate online is also the home to a family of skunks or that the neighbor’s rooster crows 24/7
  • Layout—A home’s layout is very important to functionality for daily living. Imagine it: the photos online were amazing and you were sold on the house before you got there, so you schedule a time to see it. The rooms are just as beautiful as you imagined…and then you see that you have to walk through the master bedroom to get to the kitchen. Maybe this is a deal breaker for you, or maybe you love the easy access to midnight snacks—however you feel, the layout either makes or breaks your love for a house
  • Plain Old Bad Photos—Not all photos market a property well. Sometimes the house is amazing but the photos are terrible (or there only a few photos to view). Look at the details of the home itself, not the quality (or lack thereof) of the pictures—you may just find a hidden gem for a great price because it had poor photos!
  • To get a true sense of a property, you must put your eyes on it and your feet in it. Otherwise, it’s a big risk that what you’ve fallen love with on your computer monitor may not match up in person. The tide can shift either way—it can either be much better than expected or not at all what you were expecting. Keep an open mind when house hunting, as real-life may be different than it appears.

 

Lisa E. Priest loves wide-angle cameras and is a local REALTOR® and Property Manager with Picket Fence Realty, Inc. You can reach her via phone or text at 903-948-3343 or at BuyPalestine.com.