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The pros and cons of searching for a home online

Easier isn't always better.
Photo courtesy of POND5

The advancement of technology has led to many changes in the real estate industry. Agencies have their own apps that simplify searching, and financial data can be gathered online. But conducting this business digitally can be tricky. Here are the pros and cons according to our Real Deal in Real Estate Pros.


Ability to search at any time. Instead of waiting to house hunt on the weekends when you have time to drive all over town, you can check out homes online at your convenience. From Zillow to Redfin, there are hundreds of websites dedicated to real estate. Simply enter your desired location and any other parameters, and see what's out there.

Loan application process made simpler. Lots of mortgage companies have loan applications available on their website now. Your income and assets can easily be verified online as well.

Close on your dream home from anywhere. Don't think you have to be in your title insurance agent's office for hours signing paperwork. Digital notaries can be used to close on your new home no matter where your travel plans take you.


Surfing the web can be overwhelming. It's easy to spend ours on a real estate website, but it's hard to make any real decisions. Pictures are often out of date or deceptive. Narrow your search down to a few options, and make sure you factor in the time to see these homes in person.

Applying for a loan online leaves out information. The loan application process might be simpler online, but make sure your lender knows firsthand what you're comfortable spending. Often times people get approved for amounts higher than what they can reasonably pay off. Your lender should carefully advise you so nothing is too out of reach.

Beware of fraud. It's not unheard of for wire transfers to go to the wrong bank account. Cyber criminals can hack into realtors' or title companies' emails, and change the wire transfer instructions. Always confirm the account information before you send any funds.

This article is sponsored by The Real Deal in Real Estate.

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