INTERPRETING ONLINE REAL ESTATE INFORMATION
Many of us turn to the internet to search for information when are making a purchase… sometimes for something as mundane as a toaster, sometimes as important as a return on investment for a major expense. Certainly, real estate is a well searched topic on the web. Information is there en mass. There are 700 million blogs and counting on the world wide web. How do you find information you can trust? As far as real estate, there are some basic guidelines:
1. All real estate is local.
Don’t be confused by major headlines: “Experts Forecast New Wave of Foreclosures”….etc. The real estate market in Nevada and Michigan, as well as a few other states, have experienced record foreclosures. Not so in Maryland. Even in Maryland, some counties have been relatively untouched by foreclosures, while some have been severely glutted, like Prince Georges County. Even within a single county, there are pockets with varied markets. If you want the scoop, consult a local real estate professional.
2. Real Estate information must be current.
At this time last year, we had more homes on the market, and it took longer to sell a home. This makes for an entirely different set of market dynamics. Interest rates can be different; demand can be different. When using the internet for research, always pay attention to the date that the article was written. Again, consult a local real estate agent for the most up to date information.
3. Take time to research.
Get to know the sources, test their veracity. There are a plethora of sites with information these days, but not all information is useful or even correct. Again, local real estate agents who know the area are the best sources for up-to-date accurate information.
A Tip: Do an internet search for "X-neighborhood real estate blog" or X-city real estate blog". You'll find local real estate agents who are writing informative, engaging content and you'll probably find the local expertise you're looking for.