The Differences Between An Online Home Search & an In-Person Search

Shopping online is far past the fad stage. No longer are people just shopping for gifts at the holidays online. Today, many home buyers perform an online home search before they ever see a single property in person.

In fact, some buyers never see the property in person before agreeing to buy it. With so many options to choose from, narrowing down the possible properties online makes sense. However, when you get ready to search for your next home, it's a good idea to understand some of the differences between an online home search and an in-person home search.

The Feel of the Neighborhood

It's impossible to get a feel for the neighborhood if you're searching for a property online. Sure, you can search the neighborhood for information about it, but you won't actually be able to feel the vibe or walk the area to see how you like it.

With an online home search, you just don't have the option to see how the neighborhood feels to you. It's best to take your online search and turn it into an in-person search when you think you have a good choice. Then, you'll get to experience the neighborhood and see how you like it.

Photos May Not Be 100% Accurate

Online pictures are great and help you get a feel for the property. However, they are not always the most accurate representation of the property. Often, the online images you see represent the very best of the property and don't show off the home the same way it shows during an in-person search.

Some of the rooms may look bigger through online pictures. You may also only get to see the home from a specific angle. It's also likely the home was staged for the picture and it can be hard to separate the staging from the actual home without seeing it in person.

Seeing the home in person will give you the opportunity to really feel the space. You'll get to see how tall the ceilings are, measure the actual dimensions of the rooms, and feel how big or small the space is while looking at each room from any angle you prefer.

You Can't Smell It

An online home search doesn't allow you to smell the home, which is important. If the home was smoked in or was home to multiple pets, there could be odors you simply don't want to deal with. In addition, you may find issues with a home due to the smells you encounter.

If the sewer is leaking, you'll smell it. If there's a dead animal in the walls, you'll smell it. There are several smells you may notice that could be a sign of an issue you don't want to deal with. These smells certainly don't show up in online pictures.

What's the Real Age of the Home?

Just as someone on a dating website could doctor a picture to make themselves look younger, online pictures of homes could make the home look newer than it really is. When you visit the property in person, you may notice the age on the home more than you see it through the online pictures.

You may also notice things, such as water damage, cracks, or other signs of wear and tear that simply don't show up in the pictures. Unless the home is newly built, it's best to visit in person to reveal the properties real age.

When it comes to an online home search and an in-person home search, they can both be very helpful. It's best to start your home search online, but don't fall in love with a property with only what you see online. Before you buy a house, you want to make sure you visit the property in person to verify it's what you truly want.

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