Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Web Helps for Home Buyers and Sellers

The Internet is in a constant state of flux. Web pages that were there yesterday are gone today. There are hotlinks, permalinks, blogs and diggs. At least they were there the last time I logged on. But or those of us who are either looking to sell a home or buy a home there are two new resources that deserve an honorable mention.

If you’re looking to buy a home you need help in several ways. First you need to find a home and then you need to find financing for that home. That is unless you’re among the fortunate few who pay cash for their homes.

If you’re looking for a home feel free to log onto http://www.trulia.com/ and interact with other home buyers and real estate professionals to discuss your needs, wants, concerns and questions.

This website is fairly new and features sections for home buyers and sellers where you can pose questions to real estate professionals all across the U.S. Here are a few questions that you can tailor make to suit your specific needs.

Can someone tell me the positives about (a specific) neighborhood? How do I interview a buyer’s agent? Can anyone tell me if the offer I am about to make is a low-ball offer and likely to offend the seller? Which are the safest neighborhoods in town?

Every day there are questions posted that could quite possible spur your thinking about things you would not have considered before making a home purchase. Realtors may find this site helpful in networking with potential buyers by answering some of their questions.

Asking a question is as simple as typing in a box and clicking the ask button. Before long you’ll receive emails notifying you of the answers. You’ll be amazed at the depth of the knowledge pool available on this site. And who knows you might even find out something you didn’t know before.

If you’re a home seller you can find some helps here as well. Questions about setting the best asking price and when to make a price concession and when you do, how much is too much can be found here. Along with these questions you can also pose questions about how to make your house more sellable. Even if you’re using a realtor to sell your home, it never hurts to have more than one opinion.

Another site for both buyers and sellers is http://www.zillow.com/. This site has been around for a while and is quite popular to help sellers determine the value of their homes. But now Zillow offers a new service for home buyers. Now there is a mortgage tab on the home page.

Click this tab and after you create a profile you can request mortgage finance quotes in a completely anonymous way. The form will ask you for information about your estimated credit scores, your income, debts, purchase price and down payment and then submit your request completely anonymously. In other words any mortgage provider who has signed up to receive this request cannot see your name, phone number, or email address. They can provide quotes to you and you have complete control over whether or not you wish to respond to them. Leave their quote unanswered and they have no way to contact you.

Of course these are just two of the hundreds of Internet helps available to you. You may already have other web applications you like to use, but you owe it to yourself to check these out. There might be something of value there. Of course there is no substitute for meeting a realtor and a mortgage provider face to face. Internet is great for investigation, but if you’re anything like me, you like to meet someone before trusting them with the single biggest purchase you’re likely to make in your life time.

Good Luck!