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INTERNET: Online Property Info: Too Much Of a Good Thing?

 





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Homebuyers these days have easy access to a wealth of information on the Internet about the property market in general and targeted areas in particular.

And, says Martin Schultheiss, CEO of the Harcourts Africa property group, valid information does make buyers’ decisions easier. “Vital statistics about any given area are just a few mouse clicks away and a quick search can reveal current and historical price trends, crime stats, neighbourhood demographics, community services and much more.

“However, abundant information may become overwhelming and lead to indecision. In the quest for ever-more information, the search for statistics may become the main objective, leading to consumers missing good buying opportunities.”

He says prospective buyers must keep in mind that statistics may not tell the full story. “Cold figures often do not capture the subtleties of a situation and nothing beats a personal visit to an area to form your own impressions.

“Current statistics may, for example, misrepresent an area that is showing early signs of renewal and which thus holds the promise of escalating property values. And, as seasoned homebuyers know, getting in early is the key to the biggest gains.”

Schultheiss also says that although consumers these days have access to much the same information and statistics as the real estate industry, an agent’s experience and in-depth knowledge of a given area may well enable him or her to paint quite a different picture to the one that emerges from an internet search.

“Consumers should thus make use of all available resources to make informed buying decisions and make sure that the initial gathering of data is a help, not a hindrance.”


 
 
 
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