House hunting – Landlords, you can’t hide from the Internet

The Globe and Mail

Armed with an arsenal of websites detailing everything from area crime to health risks, home hunters can now easily find the truth behind dubious ads.

Toronto real estate agent Julie Kinnear says her job can be frustrating when clients close their mind to properties based on non-contextualized data.

"It does have to be taken with a grain of salt," she says.

She had a client dismiss a property upon realization – through Google Street View – that it was down the road from a police station. Another googled a property's address and was spooked that a murder had occurred there a decade earlier.

"Realistically, there's a lot of families in these neighbourhoods and good people. Bad things happen all over the place," she says.

Still, Ms. Kinnear agrees with Mr. Drane that knowledge is power for house and apartment hunters. She includes all kinds of information gleaned from Internet resources in her listings to beat Internet-savvy clients to the punch. As a result, she's been able to sell properties online to out-of-towners who have never stepped foot in the city, all through add-ons such as YouTube property tours.

"We just sold a place to people who live in Vietnam," she says. "We can do a quick little video even from my camera and upload it to YouTube. It's more [situations] like that that I'm dealing with: reassuring people that are not nearby."

To read the full article written by Dakshana Bascaramurty visit The Globe and Mail.

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