Technology continues to play an expanding role in the real estate industry. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), 92 percent of homebuyers searched online during their home-buying process with more than half using mobile devices or apps in the home research process. The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® (OAR) is offering technology tips Oklahomans should consider when buying or selling a home.
“From online lenders, real estate apps and virtual home tours, homebuyers and sellers have more tools at their disposal than ever,” said Chuck Harris, OAR president. “Oklahomans should consult their REALTOR® to guide them through the process and find reputable tools that can help achieve their goals.”
OAR is offering the following tips:
Improve online listings.
Millennials—those born from 1980 to 2000—account for 68 percent of all first-time homebuyers and are the largest group of overall buyers at 35 percent, according to NAR. This generation prefers online tools and resources when buying and selling a home, so it’s important to ensure online listings are as complete and polished as possible. Invest in professional photographs of the home, provide as much description as possible in listings and consider new technologies like true virtual tours and high quality video.
Consider virtual tours.
A true virtual home tour, more than just stitching together static photos, can give prospective buyers a 360-degree view of a home. Virtual tours can even replace open houses for those who prefer an online experience, such as Millennials, and cut down on open house safety risks and potential theft issues. Preparing for a virtual tour will further force sellers to think about the home from a buyer’s perspective. Other social media options include Periscope and Facebook Live where REALTORS® can give real-time tours to their extensive following of buyers in online social spaces and those relocating from other areas.
Utilize online tools and apps.
Online resources and apps like realtor.com help locate potential homes and even local REALTORS®. Other tools feature amenities in close proximity to a house, like Walk Score or Transit Score to understand commuting options. In addition, there are apps to help prospective buyers decide how much home they can afford. And when it’s time to move, there are apps, including Moving List, Moving Planner and HouseLogic that will help you get organized.
Stay true to local lenders.
While online mortgage lenders, such as Quicken Loans, have shown improved performance for some borrowers, OAR recommends you follow the advice of your local REALTOR® to work with a local lender. Most have the same online tools—much like online-only lenders—and are a visible part of your community. Their reputation is based on providing quality service and they are invested in the relationships they’ve built with all the parties involved in the transaction.