One of the biggest changes seen in the past year for real estate has been the increased amount of home buying sight unseen. Due to the various limitations and closures caused by the pandemic, many more Americans have opted to buy a home without ever stepping inside it. In many cases, these purchases have even been made from across the country. With many Americans opting to move to South Florida and work from home, below are some tips to keep in mind:
- Create a thorough list of questions: You can never have too many questions for your real estate agent or a homeowner’s association. This list will more than likely need to be revisited multiple times as you think of new items. This is certainly reasonable though.
- Hire a knowledgeable & accessible local real estate agent: A trusted, knowledgeable, and accessible local real estate agent is paramount in any real estate transaction. When you are purchasing a home sight unseen, this becomes even more critical. When interviewing potential real estate agents, you may want to ask for references from prior buyer clients for an agent.
- Leverage technology: Although this may seem obvious when purchasing a home sight unseen, be sure to utilize all the available technologies to allow you to view the home virtually. Video call technologies such as Google Duo or FaceTime are extremely helpful during virtual showings. As a best practice, you may even want to have your agent measure certain rooms during the video tour. Other technologies such as Google Earth and Google Street View will also assist you in getting a view of the surrounding area.
- Get a floor plan of the property: If a floor plan is available for the property, it is extremely helpful to have alongside you as your agent provides a video tour. If a floor plan is not available, you should have your agent provide measurements of each room along with a rough layout, if possible. This may be helpful to better determine if the room sizes will meet your needs or even accommodate your furnishings.
- Order a home inspection and appraisal: If you are a cash buyer, both of these items are optional. Nonetheless, it is strongly recommended to at least order a home inspection to know what issues a home may have. When buying a home sight unseen, you are already dealing with certain disadvantages. It is critical that you do your due diligence prior to committing to such a large purchase. Of course, if you are obtaining a loan to purchase the property, these items will be a standard part of the home buying process anyways.
Buying a home can be an intimidating experience. Buying a home sight unseen can be downright scary for some. As with any home purchase, the more prepared you are the better the process will be. Although air travel may be somewhat more challenging for some right now, a best practice would be to see the property in person during your inspection period. Keep in mind, the buyer is still able to cancel and be released from a purchase contract during this inspection period. If you are considering a move to South Florida and would like to devise a thorough plan, contact Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today! We have assisted many clients with relocating to paradise, including buyers of sight unseen properties.