The internet seduced us with more information than we dreamed was possible! We were able to peek at our neighbor's house, see what they paid for it, check it out by satellite...see who was swimming in the pool and what cars were parked there. We can calculate the distance to the nearest public transportation...or Mexican restaurant. Information that used to be hard to obtain and information that, without the internet, we would never seek to find was suddenly readily available and a few mouse clicks away. What voyeurs we became! In the privacy of our own home, we could sneak in and look at all sorts of information that we previously were too polite to ask about.
But the internet has caused something unexpected...paralysis! With so much information available and anyone with a computer able to set themselves up as a self-proclaimed expert, consumers are becoming overwhelmed. The information about real estate is everywhere.
We can get an estimate of our home's current value (whether it is even close to accurate is open for debate). We can see how much our local town's real estate values have gone up (or down). We can even look at a house that is on the market and instantaneously calculate what our mortgage payment could be. We can virtually roam through the rooms of houses that we could never afford just because we can.
As information became more available, consumers began to question why they needed a real estate agent. My simple answer is: we are here to interpret the information and turn it into useful material for decision making purposes. Out of the mountain of data, our job (among many others) is to sort and sift through the irrelevant and deliver a synopsis of relevant information.
The simple cure for information overload paralysis is a knowledgeable, experienced real estate agent who can interpret the information and synthesize it so that it is useful...not paralytic.