The sight unseen real estate market

Picture this: You are looking to relocate to South Florida from New York and your real estate agent has been sending you listings to review. You finally see what looks like the perfect house hit the market today. Given the red-hot South Florida real estate market, you ask your real estate agent to give you a video tour the same day. The house looks nice on your smartphone screen, so you have your real estate agent draft the offer & it is accepted. Fast forward to the closing day & you fly down to sign the closing documents and receive the keys. This is an exciting day because not only are you buying a home, but you are going to see it in person for the first time ever!

If the above scenario sounds crazy to you, it actually is happening more often than you think. As a matter of fact, in December 63% of home buyers made an offer on a house they didn’t visit. This figure was up from 45% five months earlier. The high number of out-of-state buyers combined with the red-hot South Florida real estate market has led to the substantial increase in sight unseen offers. Of course, the ability to leverage various technologies has also made it all feasible as well.


Not surprisingly, millennials are quickly adapting to this latest craze in virtual home buying. Having grown up with technological advances, millennials may be more comfortable than any generation of home buyers with this process. A recent survey showed that almost 40% of millennials aged 25 – 40 are open to buying a home just by viewing it online. Fifty-nine percent of millennials would be somewhat comfortable buying it online without seeing it in person first.

In addition to the various factors discussed above, there is also a contingent of home buyers that still have a fear of traveling during the pandemic. This is also a contributing factor in the spike in sight unseen home buying. Of course, we expect this to be less of a factor as vaccination rates continue to increase throughout the country.


The spike in sight unseen home buying does not appear to be going away anytime soon, particularly in the South Florida market. While Florida has been a relocation destination for Americans for many years, this figure has grown even further during the past 14 months or so. The boom in virtual working environments combined with various aggressive lockdowns in other states has certainly contributed to this growth for The Sunshine State.

If you are looking to buy a home in South Florida while residing in another state, it is highly recommended that you leverage video technologies with your real estate agent in order to act swiftly. As a reminder, the key is getting a property under contract. At that point, it is recommended that you travel to South Florida to view the property in person during the inspection period. During this time, you may still cancel the transaction should you encounter something disappointing or have a change of mind.

Are you ready to change your coordinates? Contact Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today! We have local and knowledgeable agents throughout South Florida that are ready, willing, & able to assist you.


REALTOR® with Live South Florida Realty, Inc.