Many families have decided to relocate to new neighborhoods, cities, and even countries over the past year. Before Covid-19, most property tours were being completed in person. However, after social distance mandates and a significant shift from population-dense cities, many families have had to search for their homes virtually.
While buying virtually allows homeowners to act quicker (a plus in today’s competitive market), it also comes with potential drawbacks. We have created a list of four “musts” when buying a home virtually.
Find An Agent You Can Trust
Buying a home virtually requires a great deal of trust between you and the agent. They will need to be your eyes, ears, and nose for those things you cannot experience virtually. Specifically, if you are relocating somewhere new, it’s essential to use a local agent to the area that has extensive market knowledge.
Finding a great local agent isn’t difficult, but you must make sure that you do your due diligence. Once you have found a potential agent, we recommend:
- Looking online at past client reviews
- Speaking with friends or family members that have used them
- Asking them how many families they’ve helped purchase homes
- Seeing if they have helped families relocate before
Do Your Research
Make sure that you do your research of the home effectively. If you cannot visit the home in person, you will not experience the neighborhood your family will be potentially living within. You will want to search online for information regarding the neighborhoods:
- Crime rate
- School zones
- Owner/renter demographics
- Increases in home prices
- HOA information
Researching these items before putting in an offer allows you to honestly evaluate if you want the home and at what price you are willing to pay for it.
Make sure that you have a way to video call your agent. While many listings feature high-quality photos or even videos, these are created by the listing agents to market the property. They purposely show the home in the best light possible. If you are buying a home virtually, make sure that you find a way to video call your agent as they tour the properties in person. This can help you get a good idea of:
- The neighborhood
- The accurate lighting in the home
- Any possible defects in the home
- Your Real Estate Agent’s true thoughts of the home
Clear Your Schedule
It can be tempting to live life as usual while searching for homes virtually, but it’s critical that you clear your schedule. In such a competitive market, you must be willing to write offers on homes immediately. This means you may need to take some time off work to tour homes virtually with your agent over a few days.
If you need a referral to a trusted real estate expert, click here and speak with one of our mortgage loan officers. They have a pool of trusted Realtors® that they can refer you to get the process started. They can also get you pre-approved so that you can begin your home search immediately.