The home computer is playing a very important role in the home search process. It is estimated that 80% plus of all real estate searches begin online with buyers and sellers using sites such as Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow to educate themselves about inventories. They will then contact a realtor to negotiate, advise and close tranactions. This only enhances the consumers education with the many tools that these online services provide. The buyer can readily see all pricing and inventories in most markets that they can take with them when they decide to visit the local markets. The agent still has a very important role in listing and marketing these properties. Local advice to area pros and cons as well as negotiations are critical for the buyer to use local agents expertise on.
In our Tahoe market, we often get inquiries from people that have visited here and want to buy, but aren’t sure where. There is a large selection of homes to choose from on the west shore, and the Nevada side has it’s tax advantages. Incline Village is often the area of choice for those who can afford the higher prices, as this town is the only area around the lake to buck the trend of declining prices, and ammenities like the golf courses, ski mountain, recreation center and beaches are hard to come by. The local knowledge is essential to home buyers, who really don’t get a feel for it until they drive around with someone who knows the town well. This online process gives the potential buyer a huge advantage in time savings and educates them prior to going into areas they would previosly have no knowledge of. Then once they arrive, a good agent with local knowledge can give them the insight to choose the best location for them.