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Buying a Home Online is the New Trend in Real Estate


Today, everyone buys things over the internet. You’re waiting in line at Starbucks to buy a triple grande skinny vanilla latte and you’re killing time by looking at sweaters on your smartphone. Its cold outside so sweaters seems like a logical choice, right? But oh, look there’s a particular sweater that you just have to have. So with a few clicks, you buy it.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the 21st century. No more driving to the store. No more waiting in line. And no more trying stuff on.

But it’s not just sweaters.


Buying a Home Online

The National Association of Realtors said the web’s use as a home shopping tool grew from 2 percent in 1995 to 74 percent in 2004. And in 2013 it hit 92 percent.

You would think this trend is only popular with the younger generation, but three out of four seniors began their home searches online, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Dan Greenstein, a 60-year-old real estate attorney from Hopkins, Minn. set up shop in a $455,000 two-bedroom Pelican Bay condo without ever seeing it in person, according to this Naples Daily News article.

Behold, the magic of the internet. Buying a home online is now a thing.

Gary and Louise Trabka from Montclair, N.J signed a contract and put down a $50,000 deposit on a $4 million Royal Harbor home on the faith of their real estate agents and their smartphone videos to the overseas couple.

But in today’s market if you don’t act on something right away, you could miss your chance.

Mark and Joanne Mizerak, from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., experienced that firsthand when they saw how fast homes were disappearing in their preferred location, Golden Gate Estates.

“It was scary buying without seeing,” said Mark Mizerak. “But I didn’t have the money to come down every time a house we might like came on the market.”

And we imagine there are more people in the same type of predicament.

What Makes Home Buyers Take the Plunge Before Seeing a Home in the Flesh?



Greenstein and his wife loved Naples, where they would vacation over the years. Armed with an online listing and cellphone videos from their agent, the couple took the plunge and bought their retirement home.

“We weren’t even 100 percent sure where it was,” said Dan Greenstein.

But he wanted to buy before prices got any higher.

A couple months after they closed, “we held our breath and put the key in the door,” Dan Greenstein recalled.

Faith in Agents

Gary Trabka said he wouldn’t have made such a daring move if he hadn’t had confidence in his agents’ judgment, reinforced by their video skills.

Today’s agents have gotten on board with the demands of this tech savvy world.

So, it’s no surprise that more than half of all agents and brokers spent more than $500 on new technology like tablets, smartphones and digital cameras in 2012, the national Realtors group reported in a technology survey of its members.

No matter what urges home buyers to take the plunge, buying a home online is gaining popularity throughout the country. And it looks like it’s here to stay.

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