Internet Information – How Much Are You Willing to Wager?

When I need to make choices in my own life, my process involves seeking out verifiable information, reviewing the opinions of experts, and then weighing all of it against my desired goal. I also like to do it all fairly quickly so I can refocus my attention to my family and my work. It wasn’t so long ago this process required more time – library visits, visits with different friends and experts. But thanks to the internet and technology, those of us Quicksters who enjoy a speedy decision making process are happy little bees now that we have Google® in our lives. We are prepared! We are informed! We are ready to make decisions! Thank you, Internet, for making an ocean of information accessible 24 hours a day from, well, anywhere.

But just how prepared for decision-making does internet information make me? I suppose it depends on what we’re talking about. My kitchen is full of “late-night, can’t-sleep, that’ll be great for all those times I need to mince a turnip” gadgets. But the true test of how far to proceed using only information found online is by evaluating the possible consequences if something goes awry. If I buy a gadget that purports to mince turnips but doesn’t, well, I can live with the consequences. However, all things pertaining to health and the financial security of my family – well, let’s put on the brakes and put this in perspective: I read tons of stuff online before I had surgery, and while my questions impressed my doctor, he didn’t ask me to scrub-in; I get tips and general advice from blogs of self-employed persons as it pertains to taxes and finances, but because I am acutely aware of my lack of basic accounting skills and I value my freedom very much, I’ll rely on a CPA to take care of my taxes, thank you very much.

So no matter how much you browse homes, or how much time you spend looking at real estate information online, without knowing the source of the information you’re reading, without being able to verify the integrity of the data, without understanding the process used to determine value, and without the ability to meet with the person putting information before you and asking them why, getting into a real estate transaction with only the assistance of a website or the internet should make you very wary. Ask your friends, family, people you trust about their last real estate experience. Maybe they did it on their own, it went great and they’ll share with you their best advice. Or maybe they’ll tell you why they will never go into a transaction without a professional. There are websites designed to help you price and sell your home but have you spoken with a person who is able to explain to you the source of their information and how the information has been vetted? And just because you were provided information, has anyone explained why that information matters to you in a real way? Not many people would be willing to wager the financial wellbeing and security of their family using an uncertain automated process fed with information from unknown sources which has not been scrutinized. I don’t think you would be.

The internet is an amazing resource for discovering the Top 100 Albums of all time, do-it-yourself videos about the most efficient ways to boil eggs, and where in the sky you should point your television’s antenna to get the best signal. But for life’s more important issues, where the stakes are much higher, a better process must be used. It is quite possible to sell your home using a REALTOR® who will make sure you are educated as to the process, and who will keep you as involved as possible. And the reward is that you are much more likely to achieve and/or exceed your goal by working with a professional.

If you have questions, or want to talk further about the process of buying or selling a home, and you’re not currently working with a REALTOR®, email, call, or text anytime. I’d love to hear from you. 317/752.6331

Till next time…

By Angie Garard,