Buying a home without ever seeing it? Who does that? A lot of people do. Especially in a crazy seller’s market that most of the country is in right now.
Why Do People Buy Sight Unseen?
Well, most of the time they are forced to. They need to buy a home in a hurry for a reason and if the real estate market is moving quickly, they need to get an offer in.. now. In a seller’s market like the one we are in now, there are multiple offers to compete against and homes are selling within a few days, sometimes the same day.
Time is of the essence; we have to move quickly. The COVID pandemic increased the sight unseen buying for sure. People wouldn’t or couldn’t travel. People have job transfers, maybe they need to move closer to an ill family member or they simply just can’t get here to look for themselves in time. It could be what’s happening right now- Sellers are cashing in on this seller’s market and they need to purchase their next home fast. Then you have your investors. Investors aren’t generally emotionally attached to the homes they buy. They just want to know the bones of the house are good and the location fits what they’re looking for.
How Does This Work?
It starts with a home buyer searching for homes online. Plugging in the price range, area, size, how many bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. There are not a ton of criteria options on these sites but that’s ok, it gives you a gist. Looking at pictures and videos, reading the descriptions, hmmm this one could work. Getting more and more excited thinking about the next chapter. Hopefully, the buyer will call an agent they know or get a good recommendation from someone. Then the ball starts rolling like with any other purchase except the Realtor® working with the buyer in the buyer’s eyes and ears.
Things to Be Aware of
Do you know the area? Are you familiar? Does the area fit the lifestyle you’re looking for? Are there shopping and restaurants nearby? What are the schools like? Greatschools.org has great information and this great article for choosing a school long-distance- Choosing a school long distance
You can get answers to most of your questions about our Lee County schools here-Our Schools – Lee County Schools Have you looked up the crime stats? Here’s a good link for that- spotcrime.com.
Things to Look for in the Home
It’s very subjective, right? Only you know what you are looking for in a house. A lot of it falls on taste. Your agent will do a video walk-through with you. We are showing you more than the nice kitchen counters and gorgeous views. We are showing you the street view, the neighbors, length and width of the driveway. You told us you have 3 cars in the family, we gotta make sure you have that space. The landscaping, the front door entry. Does the home look like it’s being cared for? Many times, you can tell before you even step foot on the inside. Pictures only show so much. We will walk you through the home to give you a feel of the floor plan. As we walk through the front door, the living room is straight ahead. As I turn to my left, there’s the den and entry to the laundry room. You get it. We are giving you a closer look at the appliances, the condition, and the brand. Is the bedroom big enough for your king-size bed? We’re looking for red flags- moisture staining, cracked tiles, mold. *** Full disclosure- we aren’t inspecting the house for you. Once you are under contract you will have a professional full home inspection completed. Remember, we are your eyes and ears.
There are always risks in buying something sight unseen. That’s why Amazon has so many ways for you to return unwanted items. You see something you like, you read about it, it sounds good. It’s the right size, and the material sounds good. Let’s buy it! It comes in the mail and the material is as thin as cheesecloth. Return! That’s why you must have a trustworthy agent. We are here to make this doable. Many buyers we have worked with will have a friend or relative nearby that will come look at the house to give their opinion. Another risk is that you simply won’t like the house when you finally get to see it. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened in our experience yet but it’s always a risk.
People do it all the time. As long as you have all the information, it’s totally doable. I’m not going to lie; it can be stressful. It’s always best to see a home with your own eyes and put your own feet on the ground. But if that’s not possible, we’re here to help make it happen. We’re your Southwest Florida Homes Team, read about us here – About Us