Buying patterns are changing. No longer is the location of real estate agents or property managers as crucial as it used to be. When it comes to putting your property up for sale or rent, make sure you think like a buyer or tenant… If you found a property via the internet, or drove past a For Sale/Rent sign, and believed the property was ideal for you, you would contact the agent regardless of office location. In fact, you probably wouldn’t even consider the agent’s location!
REMEMBER: You’re the one buying/renting the house, not the agency.
Recent surveys highlight this trend – more than 80% of home buyers found their homes through the internet, signs, or by communication directly with the agent. Print media was responsible for less than five percent of sales – hardly worth bothering with.
Interestingly, studies show that fewer than four buyers in every hundred walk into the agent’s office. The internet has taken over. Why leave the house when you can do all of your research from the comfort of a chair?
- As a buyer/tenant you can find a property online.
- You can Google an aerial view showing proximity to boundaries, neighbours, trees, motorways, shops etc.
- With Google street view you can see the streetscape and location.
- And thorough Internet searches can help you obtain the history of the property including previous owners, any reports on the property, previous sale prices, time on the market, area sales, and potentially much more.
Finally, you can then make an appointment to view the property to confirm what your online research has told you, and see whether the home is as good as it looks online.
The internet really puts the buyer or tenant in control. It enables you to do a lot of the background work yourself before you even contact an agent – and can save you a lot of time traipsing to properties that really don’t meet your criteria. It also enables you to see just what is out there, right when it’s listed, without the limits of which agent has listed it.
That is exactly how my wife and I purchased our current home. The only reason we visited the agent’s office was to sign contracts and pay a deposit. In fact we probably could have done that at the property as well.
Agency location no longer matters: with the volume, speed and resources available at our fingertips, the search for the ideal property is faster, wider… and easier.