Whether you are looking to buy a home for living in or whether are looking to just invest in real estate, you will need to get hold of real estate listings as the first thing. Internet and newspapers are the most common ways of getting real estate listings.
With internet gaining popularity, internet real estate listings have become one of the easiest ways of checking out the real estate listings. Though the traditional method of looking for real estate listings (through newspapers) is still one of the most used methods, it is a very time consuming one. You have to read through various listings and sort out the ones that seem more suitable to you (and possibly write down the phone numbers and contact details on a piece of paper) and then call up the owners/brokers to fix an appointment for viewing the property (which may turn out to be totally disgusting in the end). Moreover, the newspaper listings generally happen on a weekly basis. So if a deal has materialized in the meanwhile, there is no way you can check it without actually calling up the owner/broker.
On the contrary, the internet real estate listings (on a good real estate listings website) are updated everyday or maybe twice a week. Moreover, new real estate listings go up on the internet everyday (i.e. they don’t wait for the newspaper to get published). So, if you have been using only the newspaper as your source of real estate listing information, you might end up getting stale information. You might lose out on a deal that was out on internet, say 2 days before. As such, making the first offer can make a big difference when it comes to real estate. Further, you don’t need to go through all the real estate listings in order to determine the listings that look suitable to you. You can specify various search criteria/ filters in order to get only those real estate listings that you really want to look into. This is a big advantage when compared with newspapers where listings are generally classified just on the basis of location of the property. Thus you can save a lot of time here by browsing only through the real estate listings that are of interest to you. Moreover, there is no need to note phone numbers etc; you can just take printouts of the listings you want. Some websites also provide tools/ facilities to track those real estate listings. You could even contact the sellers by sending a message through the website (some websites provide such email type of facility). Another important benefit from real estate listings on internet is that some of them also contain images of the property. So you can have a look at the images and see if you like the property at all.
So, real estate listings on the internet do seem to offer a lot of convenience. However, internet or newspaper is really a matter of personal choice too.