Homebuyers get in tune with potential homes

Published 1:43 pm Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Your dream home could be just a radio frequency away.

Rachel Garrett, a RealtySouth realtor, began using a program called Talking House this summer.

“The Talking House Transmitter is a powerful real estate tool because it simplifies the process for everyone — the agent, the seller and the buyer,” said Garrett. “It also sets one house apart from another, especially when there are hundreds of homes on the market.”

The technology allows people interested in a home to tune their radios to an AM station and here a recorded message sent out by a transmitter located inside the home. The message reaches up to 300 feet from the home and allows the realtor three minutes of talk time. Garrett said this allows her to tell home shoppers the number of bedrooms and bathrooms the home has, as well as to describe special features like a fireplace or intricate architecture inside. She said she could even include price if she wishes, allowing people to know up front if it’s in their price range.

She said this eliminates a lot of frustration created by showing potential buyers home after home that they don’t want.

“You might think a home is beautiful from the outside but get in it and realize it needs a lot of work,” Garrett said. “Or you could dismiss a home that is perfect for you on the inside, but might not have the landscaping you would like.”

Garrett said people could always look through ads in a newspaper listing or visit sites online but never get a true idea of the homes and their locations.

“I had a client once tell me that she would never again trust the picture in the multiple listings because the pictures looked so much better than the houses do in person,” Garrett said.

It also allows potential homebuyers to get a feel for the neighborhood and the home 24 hours a day. The transmitters use any frequency between 560 and 1700 on the AM dial, so two homes side-by-side could each have a transmitter without interfering with the other’s broadcast. Garrett currently operates five transmitters in homes she is trying to sell.