How to buy or sell a house without moving

How to buy or sell a house without moving from your armchair

Judith Summer By Judith Summer on 12th Jun 2015,

Is the technology that good?

I wanted to pose the question as to whether you could buy or sell a house with the use of technology as it is today without having to move from your chair until the removal men turned up.

Let us start with the idea of selling a house. What are the main steps? Find an estate agent, get a valuation, appoint a solicitor and find suitable removal men. It is possible to research all of this online and then make any arrangements by email and telephone.

In fact, I would advise that any seller makes use of all the technology available to research for him or herself which agent to use and what the sale price should be.

That sort of research would probably involve a Google search on prime sites such as PrimeLocation, Rightmove and Zoopla. The latter will also show actual selling prices as well as offer prices on comparable properties in recent times, which is particularly useful.

The hopeful advertised price may have little in common with the actual selling price. Some estate agents have specially designed apps and websites (designed by companies such as Estate Apps), which help you view their sites and their properties from a mobile telephone making them particularly easy-to-use from an armchair. Nowadays, there are even internet-based estate agents.

Technology has made a huge impact on the whole buying process too. Even some mortgage applications can be done online.

With property searches online, gone are the days where the buyer would have to traipse around to every estate agent in the area to find out what was available, although a buyer should still call to be put on the agents' databases, as sometimes the very best properties can be sold before they are even marketed. The agents can email the details of potential homes rather than keep posting endless reams of the properties on their books, which was the way only just over a decade ago.

Technology has also improved the viewing process too, as photographs are now generally of a better quality, although there are some hilarious exceptions featured on sites such as terriblerealestateagentphotos.com which are worth looking at if you are having a bad day.

Sometimes the agents have had a video made of the property being sold, which is helpful. Although it could be done, I would not recommend that, even with all this technology available, the property should be purchased without a real life viewing.

You never know what interesting and eye-catching detail is sitting just out of shot and what noise is pulsing through the rooms.

Although the solicitor may wish to meet the buyers and sellers in person, the rest of the process can mainly be handled from home for both the buying and selling process.

Technology has put into the past the days where the seller was obliged to rely on what his chosen estate agent told him. And technology has also speeded up the conveyance process itself.

The technology out there is good enough for you to be able to buy and sell property from your armchair, but although I suggest making use of every bit of technology that is available, some legwork is sensible.

In a way, although we are seemingly better off with the technology on offer, it can mean that buying and selling a house can take up more of our time in looking at the websites and carrying out our own research.

We could of course revert to some of the old ways and just trust an estate agent to advise us appropriately.

Or if time is short, but the buyer/ seller wants some research done, he or she could always hire someone like me - a property finder and development consultant - to do the work for them!

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