How to buy a home sight unseen (Virtual Realty)

Blog Post Image
Real Estate

If you're thinking about buying a house right now, you're probably wondering how best to go about it. The truth is, you can still do in-person tours in some places, depending on the local regulations, but many people are buying homes right now without stepping foot inside until the deal is done.  See image below of a Multi-family home I helped buy virtually using different tools. 

 Sight unseen deals are nothing new, but up until recently they were used mostly for foreign buyers, investors, or long-distance home shoppers. These types of remote deals have become more mainstream in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and there's evidence to suggest they're more than a passing trend.

A survey from 2018 showed that about 20% of homebuyers had made an offer on a home without seeing it first. A more recent, COVID-19-influenced survey, found that 45% of homebuyers in the last year had made an offer without seeing the property in person. In April of this year, Realtor.com found that "24% of 1,300 consumers surveyed said they'd be willing to buy a home without first seeing it in person."

If you're considering purchasing a home sight unseen, keep these tips in mind:

Work with the right agent

If you're buying a house without touring it first, my job as a Newton Top selling Realtor is to be your eyes and ears, especially if you aren't super familiar with the area. I enjoyed helping several of my clients virtually purchase homes. 

Take advantage of technology 

The image above is a home that was purchased entirely virtually with the use of technology. 

Online listings with 3D home tours are up by more than 600% since the pandemic hit. Listings that have this functionality are likely to rise to the top because they give you a better feel for the home. Remember, whether you're looking at a carousel of images or a 3D tour, don't forget to ask me to go a step further. Once you know which homes you're most interested in, I can schedule some showings and take you along on the tour using FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom and anyother video tools. Being able to view the property with you in real-time will allow you to ask questions while getting an understanding of the "flow" of the home. The image above is a home that was purchased entirely virtually with the use of technology. 

 A floorplan is crucial

Today, you're more likely to find home listings that include a floorplan image. If you don't see one online, I will always ensure we find one. While video tours offer an understanding of how a home feels, a detailed floorplan helps you ensure it measures up to your needs.

Knowing the full layout of a home will give you some insight on what day-to-day life will be like. For example, watching a video tour might not reveal the fact that the new home office you're excited about shares a wall with a noisy laundry room. Also, being able to quickly reference dimensions will allow you to imagine how you and your furniture will fit into the new space. A floor Plan was so helpful in making a decision to purchase the Condo below for my client. 

Order an appraisal and a home inspection

Even in cases where they're not required, you don't want to skip these steps. Especially when you can't or don't want to tour a home yourself, having expert and objective documentation regarding the value and condition of the home is more important than ever. Inspections can be done via video and detailed documentation.

Virtual Realty

Diane Basemera is one of the top selling real estate agents in Newton, MA who will make sure you know what to expect, answer your questions and determine the right price to attract buyers and sell your home quickly. To know more about real estate properties and other details, contact now.