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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Jun. 9, 2016 2 years ago

Using the internet to help your home search

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Making the most of technology

Not long ago, searching for a new home meant jumping in the car with your real estate agent and driving through neighborhoods, looking at house after house until you find “the one.” While people still look at several houses before deciding which one is home, chances are that they clicked from webpage to webpage to find it.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 89 percent of all homebuyers used online tools and resources in their home search. For home sellers, this means that embracing new technology when working with an agent to advertise your property is no longer just a good idea, it’s a necessity.

“Technology has changed nearly every aspect of the way we live, so it is only natural that it affects the way sellers and their agents market and sell homes,” says Orlando Regional Realtor Association John Lazenby, Colony Realty Group Inc. “Most potential buyers make their first impression of a home online, and with so much high-quality media online, the bar has been raised for online real estate listings to really ‘wow’ buyers.”

Here are a few high-tech resources and gadgets that can help you and your agent sell your home:

Social media. These days nearly everyone is on at least one social media platform, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, so including a social media strategy in your home’s marketing plan is becoming par for the course. “A well-placed post on Facebook or a properly timed Tweet can place your listing in front of hundreds, possibly thousands, of potential buyers and usually costs the seller nothing,” Lazenby said.

Virtual staging. If a seller has already moved out and left a home empty, visual effects software will digitally fill the empty house with different styles of furniture, add art and light fixtures, or even change the wall color with the click of a mouse. “This technology can help prospective buyers visualize a home’s potential and see what the home looks like when it’s tailored to their taste,” Lazenby said. “A seller can’t know what every buyer’s taste is, and the new technology allows the home to be virtually staged in any style at a fraction of the cost.”

Drones. Unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly known as drones, are aircrafts without a human pilot aboard and can be used to take aerial photos of your home and the surrounding property. "New drone technologies can help you and your agent to market your home in a way that may have been cost-prohibitive in the past,” points out Lazenby. “If your home has a beautiful lake view or sits on a large piece of property, drone photography can highlight these features.” However, Lazenby reminds sellers that the FAA has not yet put rules for commercial drone use into place, so it is important that sellers either hire a professional drone operator or an agent with a Federal Aviation Administration waiver.

By using a few of these tools, you can make your home’s listing more appealing to buyers, and hopefully help sell it more quickly this summer.

Visit orlandorealtors.com to locate an Orlando-area Realtor to you assist you with your real estate transaction.

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