Latest News

Buyers warned about technology apps

4 August 2016

Buyers have been warned not to fall into the trap of relying on technology and free online tools exclusively when purchasing property.

Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) President Rich Harvey warned buyers that although new technology is making it easier to assess property, it’s risky to rely on technology alone.

He said: “There is a plethora of free information available on the internet and via mobile apps, but the serious danger we see for buyers and investors is how this information is interpreted and acted upon.

“Take the investor who sees a report promising high capital growth and yield based on two years’ figures, then buys a property but has major regrets two years later when developers flood the market or the mining boom subsides.

“While an app can punch out a price estimate in five seconds, it can take years of training and experience to understand property values accurately.”

He added that engaging a buyers’ agent adds a layer of protection by analysing the data, negotiating for the purchaser and protecting them from making an emotional decision.

There are many free valuation tools and technology apps available, but Rich says they are flawed and fail to take in renovation works and aspect.

“There is no dispute that technology has enabled faster delivery of information across a multitude of devices and in a more efficient timeframe.

“But it’s alarming to think that people are basing the biggest financial investment decision they’re likely to make in a lifetime on some free online tools.

“These apps generally don’t provide any financial advice but simply offer a ‘one size fits all’ database of information and documents on which the naïve investor needs to make a decision.

“It might seem like you’re saving money in the house hunt by relying on property apps and free online reports, however it could be far more costly in the long run if you buy an unsuitable property.”