Have you ever thought about how the internet has completely changed the way we buy and sell real estate? Many years ago, home sellers would choose to list their home with a variety of real estate agents. Buyers would walk into their local real estate agent’s office and be taken for a drive by an agent. They were often shown properties that were irrelevant to their requirements. It would take at least a week to find an appropriate house to buy. When an offer was agreed to, the real estate agents would have to drive to the seller to get contracts signed.
In the early 90’s, buyers would generally view properties for sale in a real estate agent’s office window. Sometimes they would use a box-like, large mobile phone to call and enquire. Sellers were more knowledgeable and were beginning to recognise the benefits of exclusive agency listings. The only way, however, buyers could view a property was by physically visiting it. There was no internet.
Every activity used a lot of time. Real estate agents took phooks, and had to wait for them to be developed. If the property was advertised in a local newspaper, the photos and blurb had to be physically handed to the editor. Ownership information had to be obtained, with council permission, from floppy discs. Hand written letters were written to owners, and envelopes sealed with tongues!
How the times have changed. The launch of the internet changed buying and selling real estate in so many ways. Real estate agents were given the opportunity to expose properties to a world-wide market. Ownsership information was instantly accessible, and digital photos could be emailed to buyers, newspapers, and be immediately available for potential buyers to view. There was suddenly more time to spend with customers. Today, the internet saves huge chunks of time. Buyers can sift through properties without even speaking to an agent. When a buyer wants to inspect a property they are usually ready to buy. They can even see what the surrounding houses look like on Google Street View. Social media like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter can expose a property virally, and real estate agents can communicate with both buyers and sellers more efficiently. Technology and the internet has changed the way real estate is bought and sold. If you want maximum exposure for your home, choose a real estate agent who uses the internet and is up to date with technology.