Your friend just bought a house. A nice house. A REALLY nice house. Now you’re curious. What did they pay for it? Did they pay the listing price? Did they get a great deal on a foreclosure? Good manners dictate it’s not polite to outright ask what someone paid for a house, so what do you do? Stalk them on the internet. Websites like ZILLOW.COM or REALTOR.COM allows you to look up the address and see what the home sold for. It’s easy, discreet, and gives you a little thrill of being sneaky.
You’re not alone. A recent poll of over five hundred homeowners done by Branded Research on behalf of REALTOR.COM found that 52% of the people polled admitted they engage in this innocent form of snooping to get the goods on friends homes.
Mostly this is pretty innocent stuff. People are curious creatures and we like to know things and the internet is the greatest research tool ever created. It’s easy to find out what a home is worth, what someone paid for it, even the taxes on the property. It can be fun, and a little naughty knowing what someone paid for a home and it gives you a glimpse into their net worth. An added bonus is this can be valuable info if you are in the market for a new home as well.
WHO IS SNOOPING AROUND?
It will come as no surprise that this breaks down into age groups. Captain Obvious will quickly point to people who are in the prime homebuying age of 35-44. Well, duh. In fact, it was a whopping 76% of the people polled.
Another age group that admitted to snooping on their friends real estate secrets is the 25-34 age group with a 72% score.
The folks least likely to engage in online real estate stalking are the 65+ set. They’re too busy hiking their pants up to their chest, playing golf and complaining about the government.
Here’s something to chew on. People in the western U.S. are much more likely to run a Google search on their friends, coming in at a 59% admittance compared to the folks in the northeast, who are probably just trying survive another New England winter. Those ever-polite midwesterners were the least likely to snoop around, they are busy growing corn.
HOW MUCH DO YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW?
Of course, all of this stuff is completely legal. After all, the websites in question are both sales sites and research tools that help both buyers and sellers find each other, they are free and can be used by anyone.
Before you go into all-out spy mode take a moment to ponder what you are going to do with the info before you cyber-sleuth. You may need to catch yourself before you go spouting off what everyone paid for their houses at the next office party.
If you feel creepy about spying on your friends through these sites then man up and ask them about the prices on the homes in their neighborhood. You don’t need exact prices, as price ranges are ambiguous enough to give you a ballpark idea.
If you’re interested in selling your home The Hansen Team will work with you setting a fair price for your home to attract buyers. If you need to buy we can find a home in your price range in the area you wish to live. And we won’t have to stalk anyone to do it.