The benefits and risks of shopping for property online

Today is “Cyber Monday”, a day when millions of people will take to their computers in search of extraordinary shopping deals and discounts.

The Internet has revolutionized commerce as we know it, and real estate is no exception to the trend. These days, it’s easier than ever before to hop online and market your house for sale or lease, or search available property listings for houses to buy or rent.

Sometimes, it’s tempting for people to think that real estate agents are a thing of the past and that they can leverage technology to go it alone in the real estate market. But, despite all of the benefits that technology can offer, there are reasons why representing yourself in real estate can be a bad idea.

If you’re offering property for sale or lease, a licensed real estate agent can offer important benefits. Agents can provide you with expertise on the local market so you make sure you don’t turn buyers away with a price that’s too high – or leave money on the table by under-pricing your listing. Agents also can guide you through potentially thorny issues like lead paint liability and the process of negotiating an offer. Most importantly, agents who are members of the Multiple Listing Service can post your listing online and expose it to thousands of other local agents and their clients.

If you’re in the market to buy or rent, the same benefits apply. Even though you can search Multiple Listing Service listings on countless online sites, your agent might be able to access additional information about those listings that is important to your decision. Agents also can set up private showings for you and help you tour property with a discerning eye. And, agents can be helpful in guiding you through the process of placing an offer, negotiating a price, and doing what you need to do to close.

So, as tempting as it might be to go it alone, we always advise people to work with a licensed real estate agent when they buy, sell or rent property. If you’d like to find out more about some of the benefits we could offer to you by serving as your real estate agent, please feel free to contact us. We’d be delighted to speak with you!