If your real estate agent flipped through a printed copy of the Multiple Listing Service the last time you bought or sold a house, you might be surprised at how things have changed. Namely, advances in technology have completely upended the market.
Consider this: Most potential buyers have already done a virtual walk-through of a property before ever setting foot in the house. Today’s listings are all online and often include not just photos, but videos and 3-D walk-throughs. And it’s easy to browse online via sites like realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and others.
Here are some other ways that tech has influenced the real estate market:
Offers are made faster. Today’s offers are sent in and negotiated via email, and don’t even require a paper-to-pen signature. E-sign and other software means you can communicate and make changes to contracts in minutes.
Apply for a mortgage online. Gone are the days of making an appointment to fill out reams of paperwork. Today, the entire process can be done online. Granted, you can’t plead your case to a loan officer in person, but on the flip side, you don’t have even have to brush your hair.
Do your research online. Your real estate agent will probably still visit town hall to check records, but a lot of your research can be done online. More and more public records are digitized each year, making it easier (and faster) to research a property from the comfort of home.
Tech inside of homes themselves. Today, high-speed internet is a need instead of a want. So homes that have easy access to strong broadband are largely — though not always — more attractive than those without. More homes are outfitted with smart technology as well, meaning everything from security cameras to garage doors and refrigerators are high tech and can be controlled from mobile devices.