But buyers, beware! Those listings may be enticing, but they might not be giving you the complete picture.
That perfect brick two-story? Might be too close to a loud interstate. That gorgeous town home in the Historic District? Might be hiding some gross plumbing problems. That just-like-new condo? Might not actually be for sale.
Here's how to avoid disappointment, set your expectations appropriately, and get the most out of your home search...
Your Property Search Is Probably Outdated
Zillow is an overwhelming favorite for house hunters, but the site isn't without it's flaws. Pre-foreclosures are often listed on Zillow for months after the bank sale has taken place and many brokerages in the Dayton area are unable to syndicate their listings to Zillow (we're not one of them!). This means that you could be wasting your time daydreaming about a home that sold weeks ago while missing out on hundreds of houses in your price range.
Most importantly, Zillow only updates the listings featured on their site every 6-10 hours. 8 hours can make a huge difference in today's market, especially in suburbs like Beavercreek and Oakwood where multiple offer scenarios can take place within the first 24 hours on the market. With an MLS search set up by your Realtor, you can be notified the moment a new property hits the market to get an edge over the competition.
Everything Is Not As It Seems
If a listing seems too good to be true, there's a good chance that it is! A picture is worth a thousand words and can also hide creaky floorboards, cheap craftsmanship, and mold growing in the walls. Remember: these photos and videos are meant to show the home in it's very best light, so that "cozy kitchen" could turn out to be much smaller than it seemed online.
Check out the year the home was built, price per square foot, room dimensions, and how many days the property has been on the market. These stats can help provide insight into what issues you should look for and ask about. If you're super interested in the house, ask your Realtor to provide you with a copy of the Residential Property Disclosure.
Lean On Your Agent - It's What We're Here For!
Home search sites are great for finding active listings and seeing what's sold recently, but they don't provide in-depth insight into what it's like to actually live in that home. That's where your Realtor can help! As neighborhood experts, we know the community like the back of our hands. Need to know how far the local elementary school is from the house or if the closest gym offers your favorite spin class? No problem, just ask!
If you want to dive deeper into neighborhood statistics, check out these resources:
- School ratings: Data from GreatSchools.org and the National Center for Education Statistics, and the school district’s website
- Crime rates and statistics: CrimeReports.com, NeighborhoodScout.com, SpotCrime.com, and the local police station
- Walkability and public transportation: WalkScore.com and APTA.com
- Hospital ratings: HealthInsight.org, LeapfrogGroup.org, and U.S. News and World Report rankings
✨ Want to learn more? Let's grab coffee and chat! Click here to reserve a time on my calendar. ✨
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