The other day I was with a client — together we were going over some of our Kenai PENINSULA listings. She had emailed me a few possibilities that had caught her eye, and from that I had earmarked some others that shared features with her original picks.
We take it for granted at this point, but digitized listings have to be the greatest of all the advances technology has brought to real estate. For both prospective area homebuyers and sellers, the ease and efficiency that has resulted puts past practices back there with horses and buggies.
There are some unintended side effects, too (isn’t it always so?)
The way the search features work, future home owners find themselves thinking objectively much sooner than they used to. In order to narrow down any search, prospects have to decide which features are important right off the bat. Is it price? Neighborhood?
Those first tentative choices provide a preliminary direction for how the house hunting will proceed. Nevertheless, it’s only a direction, not a roadmap. The truth is that listings — no matter how precise and well written — can’t tell the whole story. They describe details about the features that are important, but not necessarily decisive.
That is because there are real, three-dimensional elements that even the most eloquently-penned local listings can’t convey. Ultimately, we will do it the old fashioned way – visiting properties to widen or narrow the field. And there never fails to be a surprise or two once we set out on those tours.
Some decisive elements fall outside of what listings reveal. In terms of location, for instance, exactly where within a town or neighborhood a property lies makes a big difference. What about views, the neighbors, traffic, access to … well, everything!
Another element is what you might call ‘description vs. reality.’ Many times a picture just can’t do justice to the real thing: photos in listings can undersell homes…or oversell them. What potential buyers really want to know often cannot be pinned down in words or photos. Is the property well utilized? How about the way the sunlight plays through the trees in the backyard — or how that maple tree so perfectly shades the front porch? Listings alone cannot tell you whether the closets are spacious enough for your family.
Ultimately, buyers employ the whole of their judgment – the sum of their personal experiences and preferences — when it comes to buying a home. Whether you call it instinct or something else, the truth is that listings that look perfect onscreen are only broad approximations of what someone experiences in real life. Extensive descriptions of the neighborhood can’t approach one afternoon spent walking its streets.
That is the kind of detail that might just steal a potential buyer’s heart. If you are considering buying a home soon, I would love to help you explore the options – through the local listings, and then in real life!