The “Corona” age has brought its own unique set of challenges and opportunities and has forced people to start doing things in ways never thought possible before. One of the ways the real estate industry has dramatically been altered during Corona is the number of people buying homes “sight unseen”. That is, buyers enlist the services of an agents to not only find the home but physically act as their eye and ears by visiting the premises.
While the industry certainly has had it’s share of success selling in this non-traditional manner there are some simple yet important steps you can take as a home buyer to facilitate this process.
Do your own legwork.
If you are moving into a town or neighborhood, be sure to speak with as much people as possible beforehand. Remember, Google Maps can be your friend as well. “Tour” the neighborhoods you are thinking about moving into, to see where perspective listings are located and if those areas are on your radar. “Near a school”, could mean next to a preschool, with 25 children, or it could mean next to a high school with 350! Get a feel for the neighbor itself in terms of cleanliness, trees, playgrounds etc.
Do not rely solely on pictures.
As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” but you know what is worth even more than that?! Video!! Most picture of a home for sale are going to have some degree of professionalism to them and show the house in the most positive light.
You should always insist on a true virtual walkthrough with an agent who can literally video walk you through the entire home. You can ask them to zoom in on certain features, turn on and off lights to get a feel for the natural light, and give you panoramic views to the neighbors houses on all sides.
What’s even better is that you can then revert back to the video to walk through the house as many times as possible at your own speed.
Learn from the experience of other homebuyers.
You are not the first and will not be the last person to buy sight unseen. Scour online forums and chatrooms for useful advice and major pitfalls to avoid. Find out what questions you should be asking about the property which may be slightly different than if you were seeing it in person. Learning from the experience of others when buying a home is a great way to save yourself from some unnecessary suffering.
Choose the right agent.
Choosing an agent is always a critical aspect of buying a home but its especially critical when that agent is not just representing you as a buyer but is also representing you physically. Are you working with an agent you can trust? Doe their self interest in making a sale, outweigh your interest in finding the right home at the right price.
If you are in the process of choosing an agent for the purposes of buying a property sight unseen, ask them how many such clients have they previously had? Do they have a specific process already outlined when it comes to buying sight unseen that differs from a more traditional client?
If they have limited experience with this specific type of transaction you may want to explore further options.
While buying a home sight unseen was not previously quite as popular as it is getting to be now there are some agents which clearly have more experience than others in this arena.
So, get in touch with us and ask about ours!