Buying Your Home Online

buying your home online

Online Auctions; Buying Your Home Online

Ecommerce is rapidly expanding to the real estate market.  Sellers are looking to auction off down payments, lease agreements, or sell the home outright. Individual homeowners and real estate agents are turning to the Internet as an avenue for sales. 

Buying your home online can be a risky venture.  On the flip side, there are some great deals out there.  If you decide to take this path, you should know the unseen challenges associated with buying a home site.  The more educated you are, the better. 

First, the home could have major structural issues not evident in an online picture.  Pictures don't always tell the whole story.  It has also become much easier to doctor photographs. 

You have to consider the possibility that some sellers might not be as truthful as they should be.  After all, they are trying to sell the property, so the sales description will emphasize the positives and downplay the negatives. 

Getting a fixer-upper is one thing.  Living in a structurally unsound house is an entirely different matter. 

Secondly, when buying your home online, you must make sure that you know your property rights.  If you are buying land, you must ensure you can have the utilities you want. 

There might be restrictions that are not specified on the auction site.  There would be nothing worse than buying the property for your dream home and then discovering that you cannot have utilities.

Another potential hazard to buying your home online does not know about the area.  It would be well worth your time to do some investigating.  Is the property in an area that is prone to flooding?  Is the property accessible by car?  These are things that the seller might not mention in their ad. 

Also, it is easy to become a victim of online fraud.   There is really no way to regulate online auctions.  The auction companies have guidelines in place to circumvent illegal activity, but with the high volumes of online business activity daily, it is hard to police every transaction.

Presumably, the government may eventually step in and try to pass laws protecting online consumers.  Time will only tell, so you must keep your guard up until then.

On the positive side of buying a home online, it is important to note that online auctions are not legally binding.  The companies are not licensed to sell real estate; therefore, they are not authentic auction houses. 

The service that they offer is advertising to potential buyers.  It allows buyers and sellers to communicate with one another online and work out a legally binding contract after bidding ends.

When placing an eBay bid online, you should know that there are two types of bids: "Binding" and "non-binding."  The term binding is not entirely accurate because it does not result in a legally binding contract.

A Binding real estate auction means you have placed a bid with the intent to buy.  If you don't live up to your end of the transaction, you will receive negative feedback.  It won't result in legal problems, but it can hurt your business potential on EBay. 

Everyone looks at the feedback; most people won't do business with someone if they have a lot of negative feedback.  A non-binding bid means you cannot receive negative feedback if you fail to complete the transaction.

Always take the time to review the auction companies' policies and procedures.  There should be a link to them on the main page.  If you have trouble locating them, contact the company directly. 

You should be able to email them any questions you may have, and they should respond to your inquiries quickly.  Try to talk to people with a lot of experience doing business online. 

It seems like just about everyone has some experience with online auctions.  They may have some horror stories, but don't let that discourage you.  You can learn a lot from the mistakes of others. 

If you prefer reading to chatting, there are also several books about the subject.  Visit the technology section of your favorite bookstore, and you are bound to see a possible resource.

Take all the advice and use common sense when entering an online real estate deal.  You will emerge as the winner and have a fabulous home to show for it.

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