How the Internet Has Changed Buying and Selling a Home

Since its arrival, the internet has changed everything. This includes buying and selling a home as the internet and other technologies that have risen out of it have made it easier than ever for market participants to research listings and to market their properties without the need for a middleman.

Buying and selling a home online image 344333This is even true for those who have an interest in wholesale real estate in Atlanta or other places. According to Skystone Acquisitions, a real estate brokerage firm specializing in investment properties, this is because the technology has allowed a buyer to gain “access to the best wholesale real estate properties” without the need to develop deep connections in the market.

While this might be a challenge for traditional realtors, it is also an opportunity and with that in mind, here are some ways the internet has changed buying and selling a home.

No Place for Middlemen

Buyers have become addicted to the internet. This is because real estate websites ranging from the local county clerk to national databases have given buyers access to information which they could only previously get from realtors.

In doing so, buyers are better able to research the market and determine which properties are on offer at the best price. Also, these databases, especially property tax databases, can help buyers to find properties which might be for sale but have not been lists.

The impact of this is that the market has shifted and for realtors, it means that they need to do more than just facilitate sales, they need to offer value to their clients. If not, then they are not more than middlemen, and if the internet has taught us anything it is that there is no place for middlemen in the market these days.

Granted, the internet is also a boon for realtors, not only due to expanded marketing options, but because it can help to streamline the process. However, this also puts pressure on realtors as the best homes can get snapped up in days or even hours from when they go on the market. As such, every second counts, and this could mean that many buyers decide to go directly to the seller rather than engaging a realtor to do it for them.

Market Research

One thing that separates the real estate market from almost every other market is that there is no shortage of information. Most buyers can trace the transaction of any home on the market going back decades or longer.

Also, much of this information is freely available to the public either through the local county or city clerk’s office, the tax appraiser’s office or through commercial sites. Access to these sites has helped to break the stranglehold that the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) has had on the industry.

As such, real estate investors can trace back the history of a home to see when it was sold, for how much, whether major improvements were made to it, and even look at comparable homes in the immediate area to measure the strength of the current market.

Beyond gathering data about homes, technology is also helping buyers to gather information about the surrounding community. This includes information on schools, parks, local employers, and hospitals. Buyers can also use social media networks to find out more about what it is like to live in the community.

It’s Not Just Buyers Who Benefit

Sellers are also benefiting from the internet. This includes virtual tours, which eliminate the need to constantly be surprised when someone shows up to look at a property, and even tools that can make it easier to communicate with potential buyers.

Leveraging these communication tools, sellers can negotiate in close to real-time and they can even use tracking tools to make sure that once an offer is accepted that everything is moving towards a successful close.

Beyond this, sellers have the same price transparency as buyers and while this can work against them it also gives them a better idea of what price level the market will support for their home. Armed with this information a seller can negotiate with confidence as in some cases the market rate for their home may well be more than what they wanted to get for their home.

Finally, the internet has made it easier to get a home equity loan and while this isn’t directly related to selling a home, it does make it easier for a would-be seller to make improvements that could boost the value of their home in sale.


Interesting related article: “What is the Internet?