Real Estate and Technology Tag

Selling your Home? Make Sure you Know How it Looks in the "Cloud"

A Photo of a Google Tricycle scanning a neighborhood for Google Street View And I am not talking about the weather. Increasingly, information about US homes lives in the cloud, served up over high speed internet connections. For example, the National Association of Realtors is rolling out its own real estate database (directory) called Residential Property Resource--its goal is to provide comprehensive data on 150 million homes in the United States. (For a description and first take to the recent announcement, click here.) Google has been moving in this direction for several years. I recently wrote about Google Map's 3D Modeling Tool, Sketchup, and the ability to search real estate listings in Google Maps. Also, Google Street View in Google Maps simulates a 2D drive-by of many properties. Google Maps gives satellite views of most properties and their goal is to have a place page for individual structures. So even before your home is on the market--there is already a lot of data about it on-line. As a practical matter, if you are selling your home, make sure your agent knows how to take advantage of these tools and at the very least, is aware of how your property presents online already and that it is accurate. I have used Google Maps to look at aerial views of country property for example, and sometimes the pin indicating the property address is literally a mile or more away from the actual location and put it in the middle of a flat vineyard rather than a scenic hillside. I know that but a potential buyer may not. Or on one country property listing I had, the pin gave a very misleading view of the house's location in relation to the neighbors. I was able to relocate the map pin to the home site, which gave a more accurate view of the home in relation to the acreage surrounding it. Google Street View adds a whole other dimension, literally, to the cloud view of your home. Google actually sends people out in cars (lots of hybrids supposedly) and on tricycles to photograph neighborhoods, as in the photo above. Kind of creepy actually. Unfortunately, sometimes the photos on Google Street View are not very current, as a I discovered on one of my listings earlier this year. The home had be re-roofed and painted a year earlier but the Google Street view...