It’s safe to say that selling and buying a home doesn’t look the way it used to. Evolving technology has made the process much more streamlined and easier for both buyers and sellers. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the specific technologic innovations that have made selling and buying real estate much easier and quicker.
1. 3D Cameras
Before the advent of the three-dimensional camera, homebuyers had to set up a time to visit a home to get a good look at it. Or they had to rely on a couple of low-quality black and white images on flyers to get a sense of what the house was like on the inside.
Now, three-dimensional cameras are being used in a variety of ways to let homeowners post high-quality images of their properties for prospective buyers. The images are usually full color, much higher in quality, and provide a full 360-degree view. And because images are posted digitally, sellers aren’t limited to the number of pictures they can use.
This lets buyers get a thorough look at every part of the house at any time. Some websites even use videos for an even more immersive look at the property.
In addition to the photos of the home, prospective buyers can use tools like Google Maps or Google Earth to get a look at the surrounding area. Maybe a buyer would really like to have a park within walking distance of their new house-with Google Maps, they can quickly find out how far away the nearest park is.
All these tools let buyers get a more thorough idea of not just the house, but the neighborhood around it. This saves an immense amount of time for buyers and sellers because buyers no longer have to visit a property in person before they can decide whether or not they’re interested.
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2. Online Home Searches
There are now dozens of websites that host listings for homes, and they offer a number of benefits for both buyers and sellers. First, buyers can search at any time from anywhere. That makes it much easier to search, and more likely that a seller’s home listing will get an audience.
Second, having one or two clearinghouses for listings makes the search for a home less overwhelming. Buyers can save the homes they’re interested in and do a quick and easy comparison. Third, buyers can use specific criteria to narrow their search. Looking for a two-bedroom with central air and a large kitchen within 10 miles of your current place? Online platforms make finding homes that fit that criteria much easier.
Finally, buyers can quickly and easily access information about the home without having to make a phone call and hope someone answers. This is even more essential for real estate markets with extreme temperatures. For example, people buying a home in Scottsdale, Arizona won’t want to drive around in the middle of summer to scope out homes.
What used to require driving around and looking for a home, making a phone call to get more information, and setting up an appointment can now all be handled online.
There are plenty of sites out there with home listings, but among the most popular are:
- Zillow: this site has information about homes both for sale and off the market. Listings on homes currently for sale also include pricing information for comparable homes in the area.
- Trulia: in addition to information about current homes for sale, there’s lots of data about the neighborhood available, including crime, shopping, etc.
- Realtor.com: this site is managed by the National Association of Realtors and features most every home listed on the Multiple Listing Service
3. Online Mortgage Approval
It used to be that home buyers would have to set up an appointment with their bank and go through the process of getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan. Now, banks use online or mobile platforms to let buyers apply and get pre-approved at any time from anywhere. This not only makes the process much more accessible and convenient, but it cuts down on the time it takes to get approved and speeds up the homebuying process as a whole.
Not only can homebuyers get their mortgage loan approved online, but websites also make it much easier to find out information about mortgage rates and figure out how to get the best offer for them. New home buyers can also get access to information resources they can use to make the most informed decision about which lender to go with.
4. Remote Document Signing
The ability to sign documents remotely, often called DocuSign, has changed the way we go about many things, including buying real estate. By digitizing the closing process, buyers can quickly sign documents electronically without having to set up a time to meet in person.
You should keep in mind, however, that closing documents will often contain a lot of legal language. If you aren’t clear on what your signing, you should make sure to get clarification first.
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Technology continues to revolutionize the way we do essentially everything. There’s no question that that applies to the process of selling and buying a home as well. While websites and applications can’t completely change everything about the process, but they’ve certainly made it much easier for both buyers and sellers. Of course, you should always consult a professional if you need more guidance or help in the process.