More people than ever are buying homes without ever actually touring them in person. And while this can be a great way to find a home in today’s competitive market if you’re planning to relocate, you also have to be careful to make sure you end up with a home that’s the right fit for you.
Ask plenty of questions. Asking questions about a property is always an important part of the home buying process—but it’s especially important if you don’t have the opportunity to see the property in person. If there are any questions you have about the home or anything you’re unclear about (for example, if you can’t get a sense of the bathroom layout and want to see more photos, or you don’t know how many electrical outlets are in the kitchen), make sure to ask! The more questions you ask, the better you’ll get to know the property—and the better you’ll be able to make a decision on whether it’s the right home for you.
Take advantage of technology. Technology like virtual tours (to get a feel for the home) and Google Street View (to get a feel for the neighborhood) are hugely helpful when you’re considering buying a property you’ve never seen in person—so make sure to take advantage of them.
Hire the right local agent. When you’re buying a home sight unseen, your real estate agent will act as your eyes and ears—so picking the right agent is crucial. When you’re evaluating agents, read their reviews online—and before you decide to work for someone, make sure to do your research to make sure they’re the right agent for you (for example, by asking to speak to references, or for information about their sales volume or neighborhoods they specialize in).