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Business & Merchant

By Roger Dolanch, Broker/Owner

Accessing the internet is wonderful, especially for real estate today. Never before have buyers and sellers been so empowered. The internet and social media make it possible to research properties, compare sale and listing prices, “Google” articles to educate oneself about real estate terms and even learn about mortgage financing.

So why should anyone use a REALTOR®? There are many reasons! The internet can offer data but it cannot interpret it. The internet can show you pictures, virtual tours and YouTube videos, but ask anyone who has ever looked at houses. They will tell you that pictures do not compare to the reality of experiencing a property that REALTORS® provide access to for inspection in person.

REALTORS® study market trends, know which areas are appreciating, know where properties are turning over quickly and where inventory is piling up. Theyknow what features make a property more saleable, what buyer’s are looking for, how to stage a home and what features make a property look dated. They know what is required to close a transaction based on which municipality is involved. Even knowing what government or environmental regulations are new or pending can make a real difference. REALTORS®also have the local connections to other service providers that come into play during a real estate transaction, such as contractors, inspectors, title companies and lenders.

Currently there are over 16,000 active listings for all types of property in the Greater Metropolitan Pittsburgh market area that are listed by REALTOR® members of the Multi-List. What is not common knowledge is that many more properties are available for sale that are not listed through the Multi-List. Your local real estate professional may know about new construction projects, pending foreclosures, auction sales and other properties that may not appear online in their primary and extended marketplaces. Most new developments are difficult to locate unless you knows a particular builder’s web address. Sometimes they only post one or two properties when they have many more available. The same applies to some commercial and industrial properties or farms and land. Although no one person can ever know everything, a good REALOR® makes an effort to stay up to date about local extended possibilities.

Another problem with the internet that impacts our business daily is the fact that not all real estate websites update in “real time.” As a result, many websites contain outdated inventory information. We know how disappointed customers are when they contact us about a particular property only to be told the property of interest is no longer available.

Yes, you can use the internet to save time and to get ideas. You can eliminate properties that do not meet your needs, learn about pricing, explore areas and in general learn many things. But remember these truths:

  1. Not all properties offered for sale appear online!
  2. Not all properties for sale have signs on them and not all signs have ‘Sale Pending,’ ‘Under Contract’ or ‘Sold’ signs placed on them, either!
  3. You can’t always believe everything you see on the internet.

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