Top 3 Reasons Buyers and Sellers Should Ignore Some Online Info
As a consumer, especially a real estate buyer or seller, you're empowered with massive amounts of information online. You have access to thousands of articles, MLS data, and Q&A from "experts" all around the country. All that information makes you feel empowered and informed. Guess what? You're not.
Much of the information you read online falls into three categrories; platitudes, regional articles, and falsehoods. The problem is that as a consumer you don't know how all that compares to the information that is, in fact, real and useful. How do you tell one "expert" from another? Good question but here are a few reasons to ignore a good part of what you read online.
#1 PLATITUDES - Generic advice that doesn't go into enough detail to be useful
You see these all the time on the major consumer websites. They look good with great fonts and well organized to look like useful information. Unfortunately they leave out a lot of detail because they're written for home buyers in all 50 states. The result is an article which gives you enough information to be dangerous. Instead of platitudes, talk to a local agent you can trust. They're far more likely to give you accurate insight into local rules, regulations, laws, customs, and the market than some generic article.
#2 REGIONAL ARTICLES - Information about a large region that give false impressions of local markets
This is REALLY dangerous because it seems like such a credible source. For example, you might read an article in the San Jose Mercury News are real estate sales in Silicon Valley. They say the market is up, slightly, and tough to find a home in. That's true, but totally misses how intense the Los Altos market is - which is far more competitive than San Jose. As a consumer, you think you've got the inside scoop on the market - without talking to a REALTOR - when in fact you've been duped by a generality. Talk to an agent who works in that market and you'll get the REAL story.
#3 FALSEHOODS - Articles written by people who know less than you do
Reporters are hired to write on all sorts of things in this industry from lending practices to buyer strategy. Now, in all fairness, they do their research to find out what is correct and accurate. However, they also tend to write for a wide audience. So, you'll read an article online from a writer in Texas that talks to real estate issues and dynamics that do not apply in...say...California. They'll quote laws and rules that are completely false...for where you are. It's not intentionally misleading, but it is.
BOTTOM LINE: Talk to a local real estate professional who knows the laws and market dynamics for the specific areas you're living or looking in. You'll get the proper perspective.