Buying? Is the Internet your best choice?

Several years ago when the Internet was "introduced" real estate agents began to migrate to websites to display their listings and comb the web for buyers.  In fact, there is now every conceivable opportunity to look at homes on the web, now called Web 2.0.  But here is my challenge:  Are you really any better off?

In the "old days" real estate listings were published in a book each week and buyers had to pour over pages for small print to find possible houses.

Then the Internet allowed us all to see things quickly and easily anytime, anywhere.  But consider what it has also brought us:  clutter!

How has email made things simpler?  Does your Inbox have too much stuff each day?  Do you spend some time every day adding people to your blocked senders list and deleting things?  Of course you do.  Email has now suffered the same fate snail mail did, that is "junk mail".  In fact your first task when going to your mailbox is to stop at your recycling and throw most of the stuff out.

How about your home phone...if you still have one?  Many people don't even answer the phone any more since it is plagued by robo-calls that are not policed by the DNC list.  They just let the phone go to the answering machine (if they still have one) and sort out what messages they want to hear at a later time.

So based on these two things, why would a buyer prowl the Internet signing up on every website only to have the results be lots of information they don't want?  All the information comes from the same MLS database.  IT IS ALL THE SAME INFORMATION.

Every website, whether it be personal, corporate,,, Zillow, Trulia and on and on...are all providing the same information.  The ONLY difference is the display format and some companies are spending a fortune to try and display it attractively.  So what do I suggest?  Stop searching for houses and instead search for an agent.

A great agent has tools and software that are better than anything offered on the web.  A great agent knows the market, both geographically and financially.  A great agent knows how to communicate and I don't mean tweeting.

Now here is the really crazy idea:  If you are really serious about buying, how about calling someone?  I know this is a radical idea but you can test their effective with a simple call.  If you don't get a return call within say an hour or two, just move on to another agent.  Hey, getting an automated email response to signing on to a website telling you how important you are is not communication.

Just have a real, old-fashioned phone conversation with someone and see what you think.  Every agent would rather have a conversation with a truthful buyer than waste time chasing Internet leads around or calling them every day.  So tell the agent exactly where you stand in terms of your purchase.  Then let them send you appropriate listings.  The irony is that you may not be able to reach someone, even though everyone has a phone everywhere.  So if you can't reach them on the phone you can cull them off your list.

Let's face it, given a chance everyone pushes the "0" button to speak with a Customer Service Representative so do the same when looking for a home.

OK, give me a test.  Looking for a home in this area?  Call me, Richard Sites, at 561-762-4073, and see how I do.  I have lived in Jupiter for 22 years, I know the area and I know how to answer my phone.  And as the commercials say, "No salesman will call".