Results a mixed bag in online search for property matches |

Results a mixed bag in online search for property matches

Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

I am ready to start looking for a property in the Vail Valley. I have a family with diverse interests athletically, and my wife and I have very different concerns about what is important in a home. We have been looking online, but I have recently heard about online property matching.

Apparently, there is a way to search for properties by entering your lifestyle desires, proximity to favorite spots, travel time to specific recreation sites, etc. The information I have read is even talking about that some day there will be a hookup with your Facebook likes and you can click a button and they will automatically know all of your preferences. What do you know about this new way to search? Would it make it easier for my particular family to find everything they want or need? I would love your insight. Thank you.

Dear Modern Family,

As you know, real estate is big business, and people are always trying to find ways to get a piece of that pie. You are right — there are several apps and some advertised companies working on this concept. There are also dozens of other entrepreneurial ideas that are in the works in order to capture some of the real estate market dollars.

The concept of gathering of all of the personal preferences of everyone on the web is being done daily, I believe, as frightening as it may seem. At the moment, property matching has found limited appeal in a few big cities where simply entering a few parameters — such as price, number of bedrooms and area — can turn up hundreds of homes. It is very confusing to the untrained eye. In our community, there is not nearly the amount of inventory to choose from — in some areas and price ranges, there are very few.

I am not saying that online searches are not important. I think they are becoming more important. I have likened the property pictures and written description to online dating sites. If a buyer gets hardly any information, or what is shown, is poor quality, and the pictures are ugly and not plentiful, then buyers simply go on to the next property.

Truly, your best search should be for a knowledgeable Realtor who will take the time to listen to all of the diverse parameters your family has for choosing a property.

That Realtor will show you the best matches in the areas you ask about and will then show you nearby areas that might even have better matches that you might not have thought to look at.

Of course, you should look online, but when we are showing property every week, we always hear, “Wow, this looks so much different than it did online!” Sometimes it looks better, but often the pictures only showed the best parts. There is no substitute for a dedicated agent who concentrates on finding what works for you, and we have some excellent agents in this valley. Good luck finding the right one!

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or wwwSkiAnd

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