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Buying a house online

Posted October 01, 2014 in Advice Column, Perry

When beginning the real estate process, a lot of people start online. There are many good websites out there and much information to take in. One of the most popular sites out there is Zillow. I like this site, but buyer beware. It may provide you with a “zestimate” as to the value of the property you are looking at. Oftentimes this “zestimate” or estimate is incorrect. We are not sure just how Zillow comes up with these numbers, but they are usually low. If you like, take a minute and pull up your own home to see what they say. We’d recommend you give it a try.

Another site with tons of information is Trulia. Not only can you find homes for sale, but it provides more about community information. It can tell you what your payment could be, or a little about amenities that are close by or school locations, etc.

We also advertise on www.Realtor.com. This site has been around the longest and is currently going through some changes. It was purchased by the National Association of Realtors. You can find homes for sale, recently sold homes and articles about real estate. If things are slow, it’s easy to lose an hour or two just looking at property around the country with dreams of a home on the water in Key West, a condo in Vail or a place in the Louisiana swamp. I think it is interesting to see how other markets can be so different,  from style, to price, to amenities, that each location has to offer.

There are other sites that will try to get you to pay a fee and claim they will let you be the first to know about upcoming foreclosures. I would avoid these sites. Still other websites will have homes for sale that sold months or even years prior, so are not always current.

In the end, there is nothing like a local real estate agent to assist you through the process. He or she will have a firm grasp on your hometown, real estate knowledge and the process of buying and selling.

Information provided by Larry Saemisch, Agent, RE/MAX Pros on Main, 1207 Second, Perry, 515-465-5000, remaxperry@aol.com, 1-800-525-1244.

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