You don’t care.
There I said. You don’t care enough about your home search, don’t realize the gravity of the decision (a six or even seven figure decision) or maybe it’s ignorance, but I’m guessing you just don’t care… at least not enough. On top of all that, the real estate industry doesn’t care either. Here’s what I am talking about on why searching for a home is a pain.
Let’s start with you. I can’t fix you, the industry can’t fix you, but you can fix you. Let’s look at what we know is true.
The problem with all of this is that since you only do this a few times in your life you never really get level of expertise needed to make a good decision. Normally, I’d put a pitch in here to use a real estate agent and that’s a great idea, but the bottomline on this one is that you’re going to need some wisdom on this purchase and real estate is about… everyone? Location. Real Estate laws and processes vary from state to state and even from location to location. (now, even home “sale type” to type). The biggest problem is that most people have found they can shop for a car, tv, t-shirt all on their own, why not a home. Unfortunately, a home is an asset not a liability (use the comment section to bring up Rich Dad Poor Dad if you want). At the very least it’s in this class.[box] The Fix: You should treat it like insurance or financial planning instead of buying the right organic milk. [/box]
The interwebs don’t care about you. I know, that one hurts. Trulia, Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com even don’t care about you. Actually, they care about you, but they care about your clicks and page views not your home buying process. See most of these companies make money from advertising or from selling your information to agents like myself. It’s a great system for the agents and the technology companies, but it doesn’t do anything for your home search. These companies are so focused on traffic that it’s actually counter productive for them to maintain any sort of data integrity. See the more listings they have (active or not) the more traffic they get. That’s why when you call me, I tell you “The home is under contract.” Yes, these sites are just pulling the data from the MLS, but they aren’t updating it frequently enough to give you information – because it’s not a profitable idea.[box] The Fix: Use the MLS – most MLS’ have a public facing website if you don’t want to talk to an agent. [/box]
If the industry really cared, they’d make sure an agent was going to run a business (not a hobby) and they’d make sure that they are at the top of their game on market conditions and laws. Right now, for $250 you can get your real estate license (in Georgia) by passing a test that asks you what an easement is and whether or not you can hold earnest money in your personal bank account.[box] The Fix: The industry isn’t likely to change, so to improve your home search you’ll need to fix yourself (take it seriously) and actually interview the agents. [/box]
All of this adds up to a frustrating experience when searching for a home. What do you think is wrong with the home buying process?