Research Online, with Discretion

Most searches for a home start online, which makes sense. It’s convenient, informative, and efficient. I use it. I like it. I also create bespoke searches for clients so (a) as purchasers, they can see immediately listings that meet their particular needs and desires or (b) as sellers, they can see sales comparables in their neighborhood. They like it. We exchange thoughts about the most relevant ones.  An educated team works well together.

Why bespoke?  Because it’s extraordinarily helpful, personal and targeted.  Because over consumption has diminishing returns.

Market Distortion

You can’t possibly see it all.  An online listing can’t possibly capture every detail.  Photos are pre-selected.  Looking at only the best photos results in a distorted view of the market. We all don’t look like those models in glossy magazines, and only the most handsome photos are used for real estate marketing.  The online window is useful, for sure.  But you need to walk the market to know what’s behind every curtain.

One consumer may begin to think they know the market, based on a limited two-dimensional view. Another may be overwhelmed by the vast amounts of information and photos. An active agent can help put the market in perspective, shed light on your priorities and share true comparables.

Failure to Measure Up

Some people look great online, others look better in person. So too it is with homes. The photos of that house with the gorgeous living room may be more reflective of the staging than of the bare floors that remain upon arrival. Or, a warm house might not look so good online thanks to the dim light and draperies the owner prefers, and so you might opt out of visiting a gem.

An active local agent attends broker open houses and has critical knowledge not gleaned from online images. The paint and carpet and counters are relatively easy to change. It is the bones of the house (the floorplan, ceiling height and construction materials) that are the most important and often the hardest to capture in a photo. The only way to get a feel for the bones of a house is to walk it.


Sure, you can search the location online and view the street map and satellite view and check out how many stars a particular school is rated.  It saves an enormous amount of time.  But don’t jump to conclusions. You won’t really have an understanding of the area or school until you physically maneuver through the surroundings.

See for yourself. Tour the market and school on your own. Get familiar with the area. Identify neighborhoods you want to focus on, but keep an open mind. The most popular locations are the most expensive, and many of the treasures are not on a main street, not in a coveted neighborhood or are hidden from view.   Often an purchaser ends up in a neighborhood different from the original target.  Consult an agent who has walked recent listings and can put the market in perspective.  One who can compare it to other markets.

So do it.  Research online.  Explore and enjoy!   Just be wary of over indulgence, and remember agents are here to help.  Nothing makes me happier than listening, learning, educating, and helping realize dreams!   Reach out to me to begin your bespoke search and service.

Mary-Stuart G Freydberg
20 years professional real estate advice
Mary Stuart G Freydberg


Featured Image: Manu Franco


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