Why the web is a house hunter’s best friend



Imagine house hunting without the internet.

There was a time, not so long ago, when homebuyers waited patiently for the Saturday paper to arrive before they could survey the market.

But the digital age has made finding a home much more convenient. Buying the property remains as hard as ever, but sorting the good ones from the duds has never been easier.

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Orbit Homes director Paul Millson says more and more people are turning to property websites
 as they try to find their dream property. But he says while they use the net to narrow their property choices, buyers still visit 
the new or established home in person before signing on the dotted line.


The web has become an invaluable tool for house hunters. Photo: Shutterstock

“There is no doubt property websites have surpassed print media as research tools for homebuyers in the last two years,” Mr Millson says.

“Some print media such as local newspapers still have a future when it comes to homebuyers but No.1 is the net.”

The Orbit director says the internet has become a huge tool when buying or selling property.

“It’s their (buyers) first port of call when researching to buy a home,” says Mr Millson, whose company builds homes in Victoria and Queensland.

The Orbit chief says investors and overseas buyers would be the only exceptions to this principle.

“They are prepared to buy without seeing the property in person.”

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PRDnationwide managing director Tony Brasier agrees the web has become the main research tool for homebuyers.

“However property buyers still need to physically inspect a property they intend to buy and I would be surprised if that requirement ever changes,” Mr Brasier says.

“There might be a very small percentage of buyers, for example expatriates living overseas, that would rely on a third party inspecting it on their behalf.”

Real Estate Institute of Victoria’s chief executive officer Enzo Raimondo says: “Australia lacks definitive data on the internet’s impact on the real estate market, but agents report an increasing number of clients citing it as their source for listing and open-to-inspect information.”


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