Just about everything can be done online these days including buying a house. 10 years ago, 80% of home buyers started their search online and now it's probably closer to 100%. Today, 20% of homebuyers have actually made an offer sight unseen, and in today's day and age and virus times, that's more common than ever.
If you're relocating from one part of the country to another, seeing a home in person right now might be very difficult if not impossible. It might seem risky but we encourage people not to stress about this because a completely remote homebuying process is possible as long as you avoid some common mistakes. Here are seven mistakes to avoid when buying a house sight unseen.
#1. Not using the right agent.
Regardless of whether you are buying the house sight unseen or not, having the right real estate agent can make all the difference in the world. It's important to find an agent that you trust, know the market well and the area in which you want to buy like the back of their hand. Start by reading reviews of real estate agents in the area in which you want to buy and ask how many sales they've handled in the last year throughout your targeted neighborhood.
#2. Skipping the virtual tour.
This is definitely a no-no. You have to see what the home looks like to some extent and agents that are willing to provide a virtual tour or even multiple virtual tours mean that you'll be able to see the home in a variety of different lights, times of the day, and really get a sense of what the property is like. Many listings have 3D virtual walk-through tours where you can see every nook and cranny of the home as if you were there in person. This is a great tool to help narrow down your choices and live video chat tours with your agent over face time or other video sharing software is essential.
#3. Not asking things you would normally see for yourself.
Being in the home would bring up different questions than seeing it online, so make sure you ask the agent what the house smells like both inside and outside, what can you hear from the house, do any of the appliances or features look outdated, what are the utilities and Internet services like, and what stands out is a concern that isn't shown in the listing photos. Be sure to ask about these things that you won't be able to tell unless you are actually there.
#4. Not researching the neighborhood.
With Google maps, we can literally go down and check out the neighborhood from the street view. Take a look at how far away the neighborhood is from daily services such as your favorite coffee shop, grocery store, or restaurants. Consider joining community groups such as Door or on Facebook to find out more about the neighborhood and the area. Related: How to Learn About a Neighborhood You're Considering
#5. Not using a high-quality home inspector.
Kevin this is your key to learning as much about the property as possible so definitely don't forgo the home inspection. This is a crucial step in the home buying process and it's even more important to have those extra set of eyes from a professional looking at the home unbiased sleep. Make sure you interview home inspectors and do your research to find a qualified one that understands the uncertainty of buying a home sight unseen. They will be extra careful to report or point out certain items.
#6. Waiving contingencies.
If you're thinking about negating a contingency in order to compete with other buyers, it can be a huge risk. The home inspection contingency should never be waived and financing contingencies should definitely be put in place for planning on financing the property. You want to protect yourself and it can be competitive and enticing to negate these contingencies but don't do it.
#7. Waiving additional inspections.
In addition to the standard home inspection, you may need an additional inspection depending on what the original inspection report discovers. If there is a swimming pool, if the home was built before 1980, or if there are concerns with pest, roof issues, or foundation issues, this should prompt an additional inspection. Yes, this is going to cost more but you'll definitely regret not doing this step if a couple of years down the line you realize this could've been avoided by discovering major issues at the time of purchase.
I'd love to help you find the perfect home in Sun City Texas sight unseen if necessary. We do whatever we can to provide top quality home tours, virtual tours, and walk you through the process of buying a home sight unseen. Contact us today for more information or start browsing all Sun City Texas homes for sale right now.