Raymond Grinsell analyzes how technology impacts home sales

At one time, before everyone had a computer on their desk and a phone in their hand, home shoppers would have to make the trek to an open house to determine whether they were interested in a home.

Many still choose that option, but it can be a time-consuming process – especially since on average, buyers look at an average of 10 properties before they find one they can’t walk away from.

But we now know times have changed, as over 50 percent of homebuyers will look online at listings rather than plan their Sundays driving around searching out For Sale signs. What’s more, is that not only can people now easily find out all the important details such as asking price and features online, they can actually take a “walk” through the home thanks to virtual tours.

Convenience is one area of real estate that has been improved by technology. Raymond Grinsell, a real estate professional and investor with almost 50 years of experience in the industry, weighs in on several ways technology is shaking up the home market.

Personalizing The Experience

Realtors typically rely on stagers to make a property look as good as it can to prospective buyers. However, Raymond Grinsell notes that the furniture used for staging is rarely what the client owns, so it can be hard to visualize the space as it would be if they brought their own belongings into it.

That’s where virtual reality comes into play – there is staging technology emerging that allows home shoppers to choose items similar to their own from a digital catalog and add it to a photo of a room. Meanwhile, virtual reality headsets can create a walk-through experience without ever having to set foot in a home. 

Simplifying Real Estate Transactions

Some buyers are turning to apps known within the industry as “iBuyers” that allow them to buy or sell properties with less human intervention. For example, a seller might turn to this option to offer up their home for sale, and an algorithm will decide the market value and make an offer. The idea is that these companies -such as Zillow – can then turn around and resell the home for a margin.

In the process, you won’t have to hire an agent or go through a negotiation process, which saves you some of the commission fees (you’ll still have to pay a transaction fee, which can vary.) Because the transactions can close in a matter of days, it provides the cash to buy another property in its place to move into.

Predicting Hot Leads

With the rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence, there are now tools such as Gnowise available to agents and buyers that can help them quickly narrow down their search for their ideal property.

But what’s more is that these tools use huge sets of consumer data to help you decide when to buy, as well as how much your investment might be worth a couple of years down the road by comparing historic market data, as well as looking at local amenities. It can also help agents by predicting when a client in their portfolio might be ready to make a move.

Increasing Off-Market Listings

MLS listings allow potential buyers to see a wide range of available properties from a variety of agents, which is a clear benefit of technology. But this time, technology is forcing some sellers back to traditional models.

One of the resulting trends is an increase in off-market listings that can’t be found through an MLS. This is appealing to investors looking for mainly high-end properties because they have exclusive access to them, rather than getting caught up in a bidding war with people from potentially around the world.

As technology continues to advance, Raymond Grinsell believes that these advancements might only be the start of how technology will impact home sales in the future as the industry continues to grow, particularly with the increasingly rapid pace of technological innovation.