PHOENIX -- If you drive around and look at houses with "For Sale" signs in front of them, you might notice something missing.
Many homes for sale used to have a mailbox-like tube right next to the sign. Inside that tube were paper fliers that you could pull out and read about the price and all of the details of the house you're standing in front of.
"The tube is permanently empty now," said Valley Real Estate expert Dean Wegner. "A typical flier would have 3 to 5 photos at best. Now you can go online and look at a single-page website for that listing, and it will have between 20 and 30 pictures of that property."
The tubes were a real pain for real estate agents.
"Gas, driving out to properties, the empty tube, the maintenance. Realtors never enjoyed having those out there," said Wegner. "But it was a must on every listing. You had to have fliers out front."
He says that home buyers are more used to checking out properties on the internet. Because of that, more Realtors have decided to go "paperless."
If you see a For Sale sign and pull over to take a look at a house, have your smart phone with you. That's because there's an app that can tell you all about the house.
"The Realtor.com [app] is free, and it's unbelievable what it can do," Wegner said. "You can stand in front of a property. It will GPS. It will pull it right up, and tell you the price, the square footage, the year it was built, the property taxes, and it will have 20 or 30 full color pictures of that property."
We saw a two story house for sale near 32nd Street and Union Hills in north Phoenix, but couldn't find it on the Realtor.com app. It turns out the house was no longer for sale.
We called the Realtor, who confirmed that the house had already been sold for $240,000 dollars. That is $72,000 less than its estimated value on Zillow.
The Realtor told us her sign is still up in the yard because the new owner is about to put the house up for sale again.
This time, the asking price will be $335,000.
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