NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – People will post almost everything on social media.

Now, online complaints about neighborhoods are taking a toll. As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, the negative reviews are cutting real estate prices.

A move from Prospect Heights, Brooklyn to a suburb of Washington, D.C. makes one married couple both sellers and buyers. Debra and Josh did a deep dive on the internet for information.

“We got a sense of what we could get for our money and what we might not want,” Debra said.

Pricing and data on schools and crime rates came first. But then they found much more, including anecdotal information on what it’s like to live there.

Community members create Facebook and social media accounts to share news, opinions and even fears about the towns and streets where they live. In chat rooms and other places online, neighborhood concerns are aired and amplified – sometimes about temporary problems that can have longer lasting impacts on the market.

“Maybe they don’t even know all the facts or maybe it’s not even true,” said real estate agent John Harrison.

Harrison said he remembers one building where some crushing rumors spread like wildfire online.

“Something about ‘Oh yeah, they have rats and bedbugs and stay away from that building.’ Well the building wasn’t even finished yet,” he said. “Somebody just sort of threw it out there, and next thing you know, people are talking about ‘Oh bedbugs are horrible, rats are horrible, why would anyone want to go there?”

Social media expert Sree Sreenivasan said for home buyers, getting a lot of information is a great thing. Just make sure the source is credible.

“Passing things become overblown on the internet, we also know that,” she said. “There are also chances for bad information and wrong data and other stuff to get in there that can give a wrong picture of the true value of your house.”

“Numbers can tell part of the story, but maybe not the whole story. And you have to spend a lot of time in your neighborhood,” said Debra.

She said to go back to a property again and again at different times of day, and don’t be afraid of your emotions. If you love it and have to have it, go for it.


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