July 24, 2024
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July 24, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Home Buying Is More Than The Click of a Button

The perfectly coiffed mom hops out of her SUV and immediately starts apologizing. “I’m so sorry, my babysitter canceled and I had to bring my twins along.” Out of the back seat hop two adorable matching 5-year-old girls and we begin our tour of one of Bergen County’s nicest homes. After walking into the multi-storied entranceway complete with flowers and a waterfall, one of the little girls turns to her mom and says, “When can you order us one of these homes online?” I began thinking to myself … Can you imagine it? You log onto Amazon, click on homes and then next thing you know, with Prime membership, your new home shows up by Monday?

It brought me back to 2004. I was standing over the fax machine in my old office waiting for confirmation from The New York Times of my 400 character ad for that Sunday’s real estate section. A recent graduate of a local university was in the common area of our office as his parents signed a contract in our conference room. He turned to me with a quizzical look on his face, as if he was about to say the most obvious thing in the world: “Don’t you guys have a website? Who wants to learn about a house from abbreviated black and white letters when you can show them full color pictures?”

And so after many phone calls to people much smarter than I and a crash course in web 2.0 technology, www.vera-nechama.com was purchased and created. Immediately my NYT ads became much shorter as my customers now had all the information necessary to buy one of our listings. The ad was succinct and right to the point: “For a full list of houses visit our website at….”

Flash forward to 2024. Is it possible the prevailing wisdom is that potential clients would not only purchase scented laundry detergent and frilly dress socks from online retailers, but might actually purchase their homes off random websites and expect to make a deal with the click of a button?

Can we really buy homes without physically stepping into them? Are buyers really ready to forgo the serious and intricate process of buying with a licensed realtor, physically stepping into every room and discussing the pros and cons of the house including location? We’re not talking about buying a Stanley 32oz water cup.

I have lived through the transition from fax machine to email and clunky car phone to sleek smartphone. I’ve even sold a new construction home using a virtual reality tour. Purveyors of real estate gimmicks are selling you just that. If one of my children asked me if it was smart to buy a house they saw online, of course I wouldn’t let them do it. Shockingly there are some instances, even today, where there is no replacement for reality.


Nechama Polak is the broker of record and owner of V&N Group LLC, located at 1401 Palisade Avenue in Teaneck. Send your thoughts and comments to
[email protected] or call 201 826 8809

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