By Maria Patterson
Home sales are ticking upward with the National Association of REALTORS®’ Pending Home Sales Index now 1.8 percent higher than this time last year. As home prices and interest rates continue to rise, now is the time to seriously consider taking the plunge into buying a home.
But many would-be homeowners are intimidated by the process of buying a home and remain on the sidelines, to their own disadvantage. How can you streamline this often overwhelming process? With the help of social media.
Utilized these days for way more than sharing personal updates and photos, social media can actually play a key role in making big decisions, like buying a home. Use social media in the following ways before and during your home search:
1. Connect with agents on Facebook. Just about every real estate agent worth his or her salt has a Facebook business page. Search for agents in the towns you’re considering and send a friend request or private message. Start following their feed and you’ll get a good idea of their overall real estate savvy, in addition to a sneak peek at their new listings. You’ll also get a feel for who they are as people, which is important, because good chemistry with your agent leads to a better outcome in terms of finding your dream home.
2. Check out LinkedIn profiles. Once you’ve narrowed down the field of potential agents you might want to work with, look them up on LinkedIn. Here, you’ll be able to learn about the company they currently work for, as well as their career history. You’ll see what networks they’re a part of (networking is key to helping you find the right home), what awards or achievements they’ve received, what skills they excel in, and recommendations from others.
3. Use Twitter for housing and interest rate updates. Twitter is a great way to get quick news updates on what matters most to you right now: interest rates, home values, market trends, and more. Follow a few credible financial and real estate news organizations and become an educated home shopper.
4. Put hashtags to work. Use hashtag searches on Instagram, including the names of neighborhoods and towns you’re interested in. This will give you a view of the communities you’re considering, the restaurants, the culture, the overall lifestyle, and more. If you want to see some actual listings in the towns you’re interested in, add the term ‘real estate’ into your search.
5. Tour homes and towns on YouTube. Nothing gives you a better view of a town or listing than a video. Lots of agents post listing videos, so be sure to check them out.
6. Get organized with Pinterest. Pinterest can serve as your digital scrapbook of the neighborhoods, homes, interior designs and home features you’re interested in. Your Pinterest page can evolve further once you’ve purchased your home, serving as a gateway to décor and home improvement ideas.
When it comes to buying a home, social media will not only help you get informed, but it will also go a long way toward helping you make the right connections. So start friending, following and posting and find the home that’s right for you faster.
Contact our office today for more tips on using social media to help you buy a home.