Online home listings don't tell whole story

What buyers should know before making offer

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The Internet has changed the way we buy and sell houses. Most listings of homes for sale can be found on the Internet. Realtor.com, the world’s largest real estate database of homes for sale, carries information on more than 3 million listings.

According to the 2007 National Association Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 84 percent of home buyers used the Internet for information at some point during their home search. This is up from 37 percent in 1999.