We buy books and videos, shop for clothing and computers, even cars on the Internet, so what is so different about buying property? A lot! This does not mean you should not shop for land, a building, or some combination of the two with the aid of the Internet, but that you should be prepared to go about it in somewhat of a different manner than you do other goods and services.
When we shop for goods or services, it is more than likely than not that if we are unsatisfied with the purchase that we can return an item or disagree with the way a service was provided, resulting in a refund or credit. Property is not returnable. Once you buy it, you own it. In addition, what you see in person is what you get, but what you see in a photo may be quite different, and that is often times where the problem lies. Seeing property via a group of pictures is not always representative of what you will see if you were to stand on that same piece of land.
Consider the Internet a Tool
Therefore, what should you do if you are interested in buying property, be it a house, acreage, building, or some combination in this manner with the aid of the Internet? Foremost, consider the Internet just one tool of many that you will use in helping you make your buying decision. Buying a property sight unseen save for a few exchanged photographs via email can occur, but I would not recommend it.
Tips to Increase your Shopping Satisfaction
The following tips will help you get the most out of shopping for property with the aid of the Internet.
Once you have found a property you are interested in, request a written description of the property. If the description is not clear, ask for clarification.
Never assume something is or is not included with the sale.
Check it out in person if possible. If not, contact someone that can. Most real estate offices are willing to take on such an undertaking for a fee. Just because a seller is not interested in listing with a realtor does not mean that a buyer must also forgo one. You might run into the occasional seller that wants no dealing with a realtor whatsoever, but most will be more than happy to accommodate a third party there to rep[resent you if it means a possible sale.
Ask if there are issues that the seller feels should be disclosed. You might think a seller would not tell you negatives, but some will, wanting a clean sale to a happy buyer.
Never assume an answer to any question you might have. Inquire about all applicable questions. For example, is there electricity run to a rural property, is there a well or city water, is the property in a flood zone, is there legal access to the land, what is the property and the surrounding area zoned, are there any restrictions in regards to the property or any buildings on it, is the title clear, etc.
Using the Internet as a tool when shopping for property can be invaluable. It can allow you to narrow your search before starting the legwork.