Have you ever had the following happen to you? You see a home listing online. You like the way the photos look, and the asking price seems attractive. So you rush to make the showing appointment, get in your car, drive to the home, and when you arrive you immediately have an objection about the listing’s location or homesite. Ultimately, you decide that the objection makes the property inappropriate for you. And you say to yourself, “If I had known about this issue before I visited the home, I never would have made the showing appointment!”
Inappropriate showings are a frustrating problem that’s fairly common in today’s fast-paced market. There’s so little time to think. Buyers feel pressured to make snap showing decisions and end up running to showing appointments for homes that ultimately are of no interest to them. It can be a big time – and gas – waster!
Save time and money with Google Maps
The video above shows you the tools you can use to avoid wasting time touring listings that do not suit you. It demonstrates some of the easy – and engaging – sleuthing we do with Google Maps for our buyer clients. We vet the listings our clients ask us about to help them make more appropriate, more productive showing appointments.
Google Satellite View
Google Map’s Satellite View (and especially its 3-D version) can give you a treasure trove of information on a property. You can weed-out the listings with location issues and lot characteristics that make the homes unsuitable for you.
It comes down to knowing what to look for. Here’s a brief review of what to be on the lookout for when using Google Maps’ Satellite View to vet listings.
Homes close to potential or perceived nuisances
The above images show just some of the location issues that homes can carry with them. It does not mean these properties are bad places to own. The point is simply that, if you would object to what is near to a home for sale, you certainly are better off knowing about that proximity before you drive out to physically visit the home. In other words, if you would not buy the home because of what it’s situated near, either don’t make the showing appointment, or at least don’t find out about the proximity issue for the first time when you arrive for a showing!
You can also use Google Maps’ Satellite View to discover issues with the land (homesite) on which a listing is situated. An additional analysis tool Google Maps gives you is its Street View feature. Together, Satellite View and Street View can reveal a number of objections commonly found with the topography, size and shape of a listing’s homesite.
Look closely at the first image above. There is a fence right behind the home – there is no rear yard at all. In the second image, a significant portion of the rear yard is taken up by a driveway. Some buyers won’t care about these limitations. But if you do, don’t waste time with a showing, or at least know what you will be dealing with before going to visit the home!
Street View is another powerful aid
Now, let’s see what Google Maps’ Street View can show you.
With Street View, you can visually examine a listing’s neighborhood home by home. You can spot long or steep driveways at a glance. These can be problematic during snow and ice storms. Some homes lack off-street parking. It’s a fairly common issue that can be a daily irritant and can become very inconvenient if street parking is banned during snow emergencies. Some listings can have another house immediately to their rear. This presents privacy problems and sometimes awkward access issues. All of these potential objections can be readily revealed by Google Maps’ Street View.
Spend some time to save a lot of time
You might be surprised how many agents fail to properly vet a new listing their client asks to tour. They just set up the showing as requested by their buyers and proceed to the home to learn about the location and homesite for the first time upon arrival.
This risks wasting driving time and gasoline on inappropriate showings. Just a bit of research with Google Maps can reveal so much about a home. A little online sleuthing – by you or your agent – will yield better and more productive showings for you!
If you have questions about your own home search, just use the form below to contact us. Or call/text us at 508-561-6259 – we’re here to help!