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12 Mistakes of Online Home Search

Homebuyers in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County have similar habits for searching for homes as people in the rest of the county.  According to the National Association of REALTORS, 9 out of 10 people search for homes online for at least a portion of their home search.  And, they are searching for months online before ever contacting a real estate agent or seeing inside a home for sale.

By the time we meet with clients, they are usually pretty knowledgable about their particular market because they’ve been using Zillow, Trulia,, and other sites to look for homes.  But, because those websites are frequently DEAD WRONG about basic information like price, being on or off the market, and other important information, we frequently correct bad information that could make a specific home a match or not.

Here are 12 mistakes homebuyers in Harrisonburg and Rockingham make when they’re searching for homes online:

  1. Believing the Zestimates and Other Automatic Price Estimates
    The big websites are totally guessing on these prices.  They’re wrong a lot about price.
  2. Believing the Estimated Mortgage Payments
    So, now they’re guessing about your credit scores, debt, and downpayment amount?
  3. Believing a Home is Off The Market or On the Market
    Again, the big sites are wrong a lot.  The only way to know is checking in with an agent.
  4. Deciding based on the School Ratings Scores
    These scores are rubbish and however the scores are calculated is just a guess.
  5. Using the Walk Scores
    Same.  Big data creating a guess about whether your home has a sidewalk and connectivity.
  6. Calling the Listing Agent for Information
    The listing agent works for the seller and is trying to sell the property for the highest price.  Is that really the best option for more information on a home?
  7. Making the Search Price to Narrow
    Searching in only $10,000 or $25,000 price range can restrict search results so much that a good match is missed.
  8. Making the Geographic Area too Small
    Searching in a very small geographic area, or a specific subdivision, can also leave out potential matches.
  9. Being too Specific with Home Features  
    Do you really need to search only for homes with exactly 2.5 bathrooms?  That leaves out 2, 3, 3.5, and 4 bathrooms!
  10. Disqualifying homes based on bad pictures
    Let’s face it: not all listings have great pictures, and some pictures are just plain terrible.  Whether the home looks great or like a wreck, keep in mind it always looks different in person.  And, those pictures could be from weeks or months ago.
  11. Thinking the Big Websites are the Fastest Way to Get the Latest Information
    The big websites are frequently a day or more behind.  By the time the “new” listing hits Zillow, it could have really already been on the market a couple days – and be gone!
  12. Searching without a Harrisonburg Real Estate Group agent!
    We’re here to help avoid these mistakes!  In fact, we have created a FREE resources for you:

Are you ready to get serious and stop wasting time in your home search? 
Get Our 5 Tips for an Awesome Harrisonburg/Rockingham Home Search

Here's Exactly What You'll Get in Our
5 Tips for an Awesome Home Search

  • How to get ACCURATE information emailed DIRECTLY to you DAYS before others see it
  • How to be confident in what price range to be searching in
  • How to make sure YOUR interests are protected when you find a home you want to see
  • How to do a drive-by WITHOUT LEAVING YOUR HOME
  • How to check the public records (find the property cards AND use the local mapping systems!)

We look forward to personally guiding you to a smooth home search - and even with your actual home purchase!


Kai & Carlos