If you’ve been looking to purchase a house or rent an apartment in the last few years, you’ve probably noticed that technology has had a significant impact on the real estate industry. Let’s take a look at how things have changed to make your house hunting easier.
The most obvious way that technology has impacted real estate is the prevalence of online listings. If there are any properties for sale or rent near you, it’s almost certainly listed somewhere on a real estate website. These listings contain photographs and detailed descriptions of properties as well as useful information on their surrounding neighborhoods. This information can be updated with the click of a mouse, so you can be reasonably sure that it is all current.
If you’re unable to visit a property before making your purchase, you can usually take a 3D virtual tour. This will give you a first-person view of your potential new home as if you are doing a walkthrough in person. Some real estate companies even allow you to tour homes with a virtual reality headset. You’re always better off actually visiting a property before moving in, but a virtual tour is usually the next best thing.
If you don’t like the idea of sitting at a computer updating real estate websites all day, you can download a mobile app that keeps track of listings in your area. These apps can send updates on new listings directly to your phone, and some can even help with your budget, so you don’t end up living someplace you cannot afford.
Until very recently, you’ve had to print up a hard copy of a lease or sales contract if you needed to sign anything. While that practice certainly hasn’t gone away, e-signing programs have made it possible to sign and send out documents from the comfort of your own home. This had made house hunting a much quicker and easier process for everyone, from new tenants to real estate agents.
While technology has undoubtedly changed the way we look for new places to live, there is still no perfect substitute for visiting a home in person before you move in. Take every listing you find online with a grain of salt, and don’t be afraid of doing thorough research before signing any contract.