An article by Ginger Wilcox appeared online on Trulia. She is the Head of Training at Trulia and I think this was on her blog. She has sold real estate in California and Arizona. Below is most of the article. I do recommend to all of my buying clients that they google property address and sellers names. I have them sign something acknowledging this. All of my RREA agents are doing this as a precaution to home buyers as a form of disclosure. I think we’ll start reminding sellers to do this, too!
The amount of information available on the web is staggering. Google indexes billions and billions of webpages. With virtually any type of information imaginable, it makes sense for homeowners to do regular internet searches for their home’s address and be aware of what type of information is available about their property and their neighborhood on the web.
Prospective buyers and tenants are googling homes of interest to them- to find comparable properties, past sales, crime reports, neighborhood information, and much more. If your homeowners are thinking of selling or renting their property, they should google and be prepared for what prospects might see about the home or property.
The most common results will be other homes for sale or recently sold, a google map to the property, crime reports and foreclosure reports for the area. All of these items could influence a prospective buyer or tenant. Additionally, there may be personal information about the homeowner that could influence how a prospective buyer negotiates an offer. Savvy buyers and sellers are searching for any information that might give them a leg up on negotiations.
More unusual finds could include historic information about the neighborhood, unknown or unusual property history and more. In addition to just searching their specific address, homeowners should search their own name, their street name and the subdivision or neighborhood they live in.
For example, in the search below, results showed home listings, tax assessment information and even a blog post speculating about the property.