Because of social distancing, stay-at-home orders, and other COVID-related challenges, buying a home sight unseen has become increasingly common. And when you do it the right way, you can find exactly what you’re looking for in a property—without ever actually seeing it in person.
But if you do it the wrong way? It can be a real challenge. So, the question is, what are the biggest mistakes buyers make when buying a property virtually—and, more importantly, how can you avoid those mistakes?
A recent article from realtor.com outlined the key mistakes buyers should avoid when purchasing a property sight unseen, including:
- Not leveraging all the available technology. When you can’t tour a home in person, you want to take advantage of any and all available technology to get a feel for the property and neighborhood. That includes going through any online listings, taking a comprehensive video tour (or a few!), and using Google Street View to check out the surrounding area.
- Skipping the home inspection. Getting a home inspection is always important—but it’s especially important when you haven’t seen a property in person. It can be hard to determine the condition of a home strictly based on photos and video tours; the home inspection will tell you exactly how much work the home needs—and whether you’re willing to tackle that work.
- Not working with the right local REALTOR®. A local REALTOR® is an invaluable resource when you’re buying a home sight unseen; they’re able to tour the home in person, answer your questions, and share any insights that you might miss when touring a home virtually. They can also share what the home and neighborhood look like during various seasons (the snow can hide things you may want to know about!). Also, your REALTOR® can explain the process and costs associated if you change your mind after having an accepted offer.
So, what does this mean for you? If you’re considering buying a home sight unseen, it’s important to understand the common mistakes buyers make; that way, you can avoid those mistakes—and make sure the home you’re buying is the right fit for you (even if you’ve never seen it in person).