Searching for Homes online, Do It Right!

It's easy to use any one of the myriad of home search tools online, isn't it? Nope.  Sure, anyone can plug in the price range and number of bedrooms and hit the "Search" button. But the results you get might not be accurate, and they might not truly reflect what you are searching for.

First, and most important get on the right website. If you are looking for homes in Vancouver WA, hopefully it's mine:). Seriously, do a search on Google, Bing or your favorite search engine for "your city homes for sale"  when you get to the results page, skip over the ads at the top and the national websites like Zillow and Trulia. Most people don't realize those large National websites do not have accurate results, they don't even have all the homes listed on their websites! That's a whole other blog post topic:). And you may want to skip over even the local results, in my market many of those are property management companies. Look for a local Realtor website.  

Once you have found a local site you like, go to the home search page. On a great site you should be able to perform an advanced search that gives you more options than just price, number of bedrooms and baths. Think about what you want, price is important, but there's a reason for the saying "location, location, location". The location of a home is the single most important factor in determining value. You can change everything in a home but you can't change where it is.

Define the areas that you want to live, you should be able to select areas or do a radius search on any good website. Do you need a specific kind of home, one level or master bedroom on the main floor? Looking for a large lot or a view? You should be able to select those options. When entering a price range go a little higher than you are willing to pay to make sure you are not missing a home that has an odd price. So, if you are looking between 300,000-400000, search between 290,000 and 415,000.

Once you have selected all the amenities, now perform your search. You should have a smaller number of results, but they should be much closer to what you really want. 

Next time, "How to interpret your Home Search results".

Roianne Cox

As always, if you have any questions about using my website, or if you want to buy or sell a home in Vancouver Washington, just contact Joe or Roianne, 360-326-9311.

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