Buying a home sight unseen is becoming more common, particularly because of the pandemic. While most buyers would like to travel to see a home in person, it isn’t always possible. Some buyers may not even see the home until after they’ve closed. The good news is that you can successfully buy a home without actually stepping foot inside -- it just takes a little courage and know-how. Here’s what you need to consider if you’re thinking about buying a home you have not visited in person.
Be clear about your needs
Some people use the house hunting process to help determine what they’re looking for in a home. When you’re buying sight unseen you don’t really have that luxury. Instead, you need to be very clear about your needs. Make a list of must-haves, and know your deal-breakers. This could include the neighborhood, school district, or the number of bedrooms. Also, be clear about those features it would be nice to have but that you can flexible about. This is a crucial step when you’re buying a house without visiting it.
Make the most of video tours
Technology has come a long way in the last few years, and it can help you feel more comfortable with buying a home sight unseen. Arrange to take a video tour with your agent. They can show you every aspect of the home, let you see things up close, and answer any questions you have along the way. Video tours can give you a better feeling for the layout of a home and alert you to potential problems that aren’t obvious from the listing.
Don’t waive the home inspection
We’re in a seller’s market. Housing inventory is tight, and some buyers are waiving their right to a home inspection in order to make their offer more attractive. But if you’re buying a home sight unseen it’s essential that you get a professional home inspection. Since you won’t be able to see the home with your own eyes, you will need to rely on the help of pros to alert you to any potential problems with the home. You don’t want to be stuck with expensive repairs you weren’t anticipating once you move in.
Ask for help
Do you have family or friends in the area? Then don’t be afraid to ask them for help. They can tour the home or be there for the inspection when you can’t be there in person. A trusted friend or family member can give you their honest opinion and make the process feel less scary or risky.
Work with a pro
Finally, the best thing you can do when you’re buying a home sight unseen is to work with a professional real estate agent who is an expert in the local market. They can give you valuable advice and be your eyes for you. They will know exactly what you’re looking for and will go the extra mile to help you find it, even when you can’t be there in person.
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