Can You Buy a Home Virtually?
As we continue to see unprecedented activity in the real estate market, buyers often find they are too late to offer on recently listed homes. For the serious homebuyer, this can be frustrating, often causing them to make last-minute plans to run out and view homes, interfering with work and home life.
As employees and businesses have shifted to virtual methods of meetings and interaction, it’s natural for real estate to make the leap as well. Yet, buying a home completely virtual demands a unique approach. It’s not enough to simply view a home tour on the listing or Skype walk-through with the agent.
Fortunately, with the right approach, it is possible to buy completely virtually and still get the right information to make the best decision for a new home. Here are a few tips to help:
• Virtual Tour – A virtual tour should be a live event with an onsite agent; yours or the sellers. Ask the agent to open closets and storage and look up and down. Zoom in on areas of concern and make lots of notes for questions.
• Ask the Right Questions – All homebuyers need to ask the important questions and with virtual tours, it’s even more so. Ask about the age of the roof and HVAC systems. Look under cabinets for water damage and ask to see anything listed in disclosures. Remember the things that can’t be seen in a virtual tour, such as street noise or over-the-fence issues; don’t be afraid to ask.
• Be Prepared to Buy – Whether viewing the home virtually or in person, a serious buyer must be ready to move quickly in this market. Financing and pre-approval letters should already be in place before seeing homes.
It might be intimidating to consider buying a home virtually, but the tools are available. In this competitive market and with the global health concerns still very real, homebuyers can buy their next home virtually by being prepared and following a few simple tips.