Your online addiction

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What is your connection? Do you have DSL, a wireless card, a router hardwired to the phone company lines, or maybe a dish pointing into the clouds? It matters because of the speed you can download or search. I have one of those 5 gizmo MiFi boxes from Verizon. To be kind, it is OK for my needs most of the time…but not all the time.

So now you are connected. Then what? If you are someone I have talked to in the last year or so, you are likely looking at homes for sale online. I know that because many of you inquire about things you see online. The sad truth is, you have viewed 15 pictures of what seems like a nice little place, but when you walk in the door it’s a disappointment. My guess is that 90% of homes for sale look better in photos while 10% actually look better in person. Keep expectations manageable…

There are many home search websites. First a home is listed for sale through a qualifying broker. Then it is entered into the Multiple Listing Service, hopefully with photos and useful information. Then it is picked up by hundreds of websites that aggregate data and re-display it in their own style – as if they were presenting original content.

Some of the most popular sites are, Zillow and Trulia. You may also have a favorite I could list. It is a tremendous benefit to people shopping for a home to be able to look through all of the listings. Most have search parameters to customize;  price, # of bedrooms, acreage, type of heat, views, horses allowed, etc. No sense looking at homes that you would never move into anyway, unless you are just an addicted shopper.

Sometimes a customer views a home online and wants to buy it. They have looked at hundreds of homes and this one is truly the best of the bunch. But they are in Ohio and cannot possibly travel for another 60 days and they fear the home might be sold to someone else in the meantime. Should they consider buying it without ever having seen it in person?

It has been done and will be again. I sold a condo to a young couple that did not see it in person until a month after settlement. I was happy to learn they felt it was better than expected, but I was nervous for the entire escrow period and the month it took them to show up. Would I do that again? Maybe, depending on the buyer… but with extreme caution and lots of disclosures.

As an old timer that has fully embraced new tech toys, I don’t suggest you buy sight unseen. If we are working together, I’ll send you extra photos and provide endless detail of my impressions and experiences while viewing the home. But its best if you see it. Come on out to beautiful Santa Fe and smell the Pinon wood smoke from the chimney of the home you want. We have plenty of other things you would enjoy seeing and doing here.

There is even a 9 step program for people that are addicted to the world wide web. It starts with traveling to Santa Fe, then pointing your shoes toward the hills and mountains and walking away from civilization, into that great outdoors and nature. Start breathing and stop talking. Start listening and smelling and stop grinding your teeth. The air is clean and you will not get any error messages.

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The writer is a 68 year-old young man engaged as an active REALTOR (associate broker) with Keller Williams, in real estate sales and management in the Santa Fe NM market area. My career has been in and around the real estate industry for more than 35 years, ranging from mortgage lending (interim, commercial, residential); residential property management and leasing; shopping center development and leasing; real estate sales; sales training; title insurance as an executive and an escrow officer; various management positions; consulting and other related activities. That plus a bunch of banking experience including our family-owned Bank of Santa Fe in the 1980s. Where has the time gone?
My background means you have my working knowledge of the entire transaction process at your disposal. That comes with honesty and no bullshit.