General Question

fahim27's avatar

Do real estate websites provide enough information to make good purchase or rent decisions?

Asked by fahim27 (7points) June 2nd, 2018

Just wondering whether I can rely on online information for making a good purchase decision

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13 Answers

snowberry's avatar

For starters, It depends entirely on the situation, the accuracy of the information posted online, and whether or not the website is working properly.

The short answer: It depends.

Zaku's avatar

They can be good enough to find some places, but you’d want more information before actually making a purchase or rental commitment. And not everything is in those databases, especially not for rentals.

Patty_Melt's avatar

The options I have checked have been pretty accurate.
Lol, I checked an old house once that Zillow called a fixer upper. Boy, was that true!
Wish I could have afforded the repairs it needed. It was an old two story with tons of character.
Some sites have video walk-throughs which can be quite helpful.
It should only be used to narrow down the process though. Nothing beats seeing a property first hand.

janbb's avatar

I think they’re accurate but I would not rent long term or buy without seeing the lace. I do use Airbnb for short term holiday rentals.

elbanditoroso's avatar

No> Even if it’s the most detailed description in the world, you need to see the place, and get a feel for the neighborhood. See all the things that were not described on the website. (Like: do the neighbors keep a clean yard? Are there powerlines in the middle of the street? How easy is it to get out to the next street? And so on.

I would never buy a house or rent one on the basis of a web description alone.

canidmajor's avatar

I think the intention is more about encouraging people to go see the properties, then do the regular steps leading up to purchase or lease, not to decide based on a Web description.

janbb's avatar

Edit: I meant “seeing the place” not “seeing the lace”!

chyna's avatar

I remember seeing a story on the news that a couple had bought a house that had a snake den under it. After getting rid of about the 15th snake and checking with professionals, they found that there was no way to remove the snake den. They moved.
Bet that wasn’t mentioned on Zillow.

canidmajor's avatar

That’s why the inspection is so important! These sites tend not to cover the stuff that inspections cover anyway.

LadyMarissa's avatar


There’s good & bad in EVERY profession. I personally would NOT just trust a listing on a website just like I never trusted the listing in the newspaper (yes, before technology) I’ve learned the hard way to NEVER buy anything sight unseen. I ALWAYS insist on seeing what I’m buying. Oops, guess that’s not “always” true as I buy a lot of stuff off of Amazon. Still, I’ve done my research by going into a local retail store to see first hand what it is I’m ordering!!! Plus, I know that IF I’m unhappy, Amazon will allow me to return it!!!

Always BE AWARE of what you’re getting yourself into!!!

Jeruba's avatar


> Still, I’ve done my research by going into a local retail store to see first hand what it is I’m ordering!!!

Don’t you think this is a bit of a troubling trend? In that case the local retailer is providing a free merchandise inspection site while an Amazon vendor is making the sale and reaping the profit. When local retail businesses fold, are we noticing the connection?

canidmajor's avatar

I agree with @Jeruba. I only order online if I absolutely can’t find something at a brick and mortar, preferably an independent. I am fortunate enough to be able to afford the price difference caused by the overhead, but I prefer to do without something so I can buy the other thing locally.

marinelife's avatar

Unless you are on-site, you can’t see how a space or a neighborhood feels.

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