Searching For Homes Online vs. In Person


These days it’s probably safe to say that most homebuyers begin their search for the perfect home online.  This is actually a really great place to start, especially if you don’t yet have a realtor you are working with.  Although STARTING your home search online can be fun and informative, you should also see the homes you like in person before you get too attached.  This is where finding a great realtor to help you in your search becomes very important! 

Here are some things to consider when looking at homes online, and why you should also plan to see them with a realtor in person. 

“This house is huge!” 

Living Room

When you are looking at photos of a home for sale online, spaces tend to look larger than they are.  Photographers like to use wide angle lenses when taking real estate listing photos.  Not only does this make the photo look great and professional, it also can make the space seem larger than it is!  Angles and lighting are everything in photography.  Seeing the same home in person can change your perspective.  Buyers are often surprised by how much smaller the home is in person.

“It looks like a brand new home!”  Fancy photography filters and bright lights can take the focus off of imperfections you might otherwise see up close and in person.  Another important factor to consider is the way a home smells once you visit it in person.  This could give you a hint as to some underlying issue.  For example, strong pet odors, mold and sewer/septic issues are surprises that you can’t experience online. 

“It looks so peaceful and well cared for!”  Many realtors and or/home sellers like to have a home professionally staged for photographs and showings.  This creates an environment that looks and feels perfect, and makes you WANT to live there.  When you see a home in person, you are not as distracted by the beautiful staging and therefore more aware of the important details.  Don’t forget to check out the outside of the home too.  The sights and sounds of the area around the home are important to consider as well.  Can you hear loud traffic?  Does the neighbor have barking dogs?  Hang out in the neighborhood for an hour or so, or drive around and look at the area.  Get the full experience before you fall in love.

“I have a good feeling about this one!”  Online listings will rarely show the negative aspects in a property.  If you get your hopes up so high about a property you view online before you actually view it in person, you just might be let down (hard!).  Pick a handful that “would work”, “seem like a good fit”, and “are interesting” to you.  Then get in touch with a realtor who knows the area well and go see them all in person BEFORE you fall in love.

Searching homes for sale online is a great way to get started.  It’s a good idea to research the area, the neighborhood, the schools, and amenities associated with the property before you go view a property in person so as not to waste your time.  But, don’t get too attached to anything before you see it in person.  Find a good realtor who is familiar with the area, and one who will be honest with you and point out ALL the pros and cons of each home you look at.  Try to be patient.  Impulse decisions in real estate can be very costly!  Also, don’t be afraid of listing you see online with not-so-great photos.  Just as excellent photos can be misleading and cover up potential issues, bad photos can be misleading and not show the home’s actually potential.


The moral of this story?  Find a great realtor.  Let me help you. 

Call Team 2BeSellin today for all of your Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate needs!  :)


Team 2BeSellin

Keller Williams Lake of the Ozarks Realty