How the Internet Has Changed the Real Estate Industry
Brought to you by our friend Jeremy Thompson:
Since its arrival in the mid 1990s, the internet has been responsible for a great many changes in every area of lifestyle. Working activities, business, socializing and entertainment have all witnessed a massive upheaval in the last 20 years. But it could be argued that the biggest change of all has been in the world of real estate.
Back in the pre-internet age, clients searching for a property were limited to adverts in local newspapers and advertorial posters in the real estate agent’s offices. If nothing happened to appeal through these methods, it would be have to be time to get in the car and see which houses had selling signs up outside!
Thankfully, the internet had brought with it a far more efficient process of finding an attractive property. A simple web search can be the easiest way to begin, although it will soon be necessary to trim the exploration down somewhat. A good way to do this is to go directly to a well known estate agent’s website and search there. A web search such as the one found at Slavens & Associates Real Estate can be a simple and easy process, allowing a user to filter entries to highlight exactly what they need. This form of browsing properties online is certainly a huge improvement on the old days of insider knowledge and long delays…
In the past it would be necessary to make a booking to physically see a property to get an idea of the layout and condition of the place. Nowadays, a user can simply view rooms and interiors online, allowing the most valuable method of deciding whether a place if truly right for you.
The decision to buy a property should never be taken lightly. There are so many things to take into consideration. Even after finding a property that you are happy with, there are many other factors involved. What the area and the neighborhood for example? In the past, finding out about a location’s reputation, amenities and transport links would mean long days of walking around the place and talking to the locals. With the rise of the internet this form of laborious discovery is not quite so important. Information regarding an area can be found easily online, making final decisions far easier.
The internet has also had a huge effect on banking and monetary transfers. The possibility of using the web for financial concerns and advice on how to obtain the best mortgage has helped simplify the entire process. The ability to get advice quickly and easily has taken the sometimes overwhelming aspect out of the buying process. A huge relief, particularly for first time buyers!
Similarly methods of selling an apartment or house have also been vastly improved by the arrival of the internet. It used to be that sellers would have to rely on realtors to display their ad in their window or in one of their listings guides. The concept of agency working has also greatly changed, with realtors now representing both buyers and sellers equally as opposed to the past where agents were usually working on behalf of the seller.
People selling a property can now have access to every other comparable sale in the area. This can have a beneficial influence on deciding an agreeable price and ultimately making the whole procedure as quick and as painless as possible!
Jeremy Thompson is a freelance writer from Toronto, Ontario. He spent five years working in real estate before stopping to write full time.