The amount of real estate information available on the Internet about American homes continues to grow. Porch.com, the home-improvement website that matches contractors with homeowners, has partnered with Realtor.com to offer subscribers the repair and remodeling history of houses on the market.
What is Porch.com?
Porch.com is a feisty startup out of Seattle that’s making news and waves in the real estate industry. It launched less than six months ago. The site offers information about home improvement and connects visitors with contractors. It’s a network for posting information, queries, expertise, and reviews about home improvement projects, and it has rapidly expanded across the country.
In January, Porch made news by partnering with Lowe’s to provide its home-improvement networking services at the chain’s retail outlets. DIYers can research neighborhoods, projects, contractors, or how-to advice.
There’s a scrapbook for posting photos and details of home-improvement projects. You can even sign your own home up for maintenance reminders and get a history of past improvements on your house.
Porch’s newest partnership allows Realtor.com to list the remodeling history of for-sale homes listed on the site. Realtor.com is the official site of the National Association of Realtors. It’s run by Move, Inc., which owns and operates a number of real estate industry-related sites online.
Real estate apps and online sites
Zillow.com is a popular real-estate site that provides some of the information Porch is offering, but Zillow goes far beyond list prices.
You can go to it for information on a neighborhood. You can get reviews and comments. You can look at rental and sales listings. Zillow will provide a recent appraisal and the last known selling price. Last year, Zillow launched the home-improvement channel, Digs.
Houzz.com is an online home-improvement site based in Palo Alto, California. It offers consumers endless links to products, interior decorating ideas, project scrapbooks, and DIY advice.
Researching the market
More and more, the real estate industry is putting information into the hands of the buyers. The Internet provides an ever-wider range of supplementary information. Apps are by no means replacing Realtors, of course; home buyers still trust local Realtors and visit houses in real time.
The increase in information is similar to the expansion occurring in the medical field. Individuals can research their condition and medical histories online. But they still rely on doctors to diagnose and direct their protocols.
Listing your home
Looking up the listing for your own home is as easy as typing your street address into a search engine. Most of these sites encourage the owners to identify themselves.
If you’ve listed with a Realtor, that listing will most likely have been picked up by the realty sites. You can check to see how your house appears online and what information is available. Your Realtor can help you polish your home’s profile.
More information means more choices and a wider network of contacts. Now anchor that by relying on local real estate professionals and neighborhood participation.