When it comes to entering the home-buying market, most buyers prepare to spend countless hours researching, touring, and putting in offers. It’s true – finding the right home can sometimes take a lot of effort! Since the pandemic, virtual home tours have been on the rise, resulting in more homebuyers opting for this option to save on travel and speed up the process.
However – does this leave room for buyers to miss critical attributes about the home that would otherwise leave them to pass on the property? In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of buying a home after touring the property virtually.
A great perk that comes with searching for homes online is the broad property selection you will be exposed to. Instead of only touring properties in a certain area while you are visiting, you will have access to explore homes you may have never considered. The world is your oyster when it comes to online homebuying, as the selection can include locations not even listed on the market yet. This can be a double-edged sword however, as having a broad selection can make some buyers feel bogged down by all of the options.
One of the risks that come with touring a property virtually and not in-person before buying is the chance of potential misrepresentation. Sellers and agents can get creative with the angles, lighting, and staging of homes both in photos and videos. Be sure to work with an agent you trust who will give you an accurate representation of what the home has to offer, and always have a contractor inspect the home on your behalf for hidden costs that can become a major problem down the line!
If possible, we always recommend visiting in-person before purchasing a property. This will give you a chance to really picture yourself in the home and get a good feel of the area. However, this is less important for buyers looking to invest in rental properties or other recreational spaces. In these cases, the speed and ease that virtual home tours provide might just be your best bet.
As always, be sure to do your due diligence before putting an offer in on a home. This means communicating with the seller in a candid way and making sure to negotiate when needed. Talk to your real estate agent about what questions you should be asking and best practices when it comes to doing your own research as a buyer!
Of course, we always recommend buyers work with a real estate agent when navigating their home-buying journey. The real estate space is a complex one, with many nuances and contingencies only learned through education and experience! Don’t expect to know everything as a buyer – our agents are here to help make the process easy, simple, and FUN!
Last but not least, be sure to protect yourself and include inspection contingencies when purchasing a new home. This is especially important if you have only toured the home virtually, as it will give you some confidence in knowing that if you do not receive an accurate representation of the home, you are entitled to some compensation and negotiation leeway.
We hope this article helped you better understand the pros and cons that come with touring homes online before buying. To work with a real estate agent that can help you achieve your property goals, contact us at VSells&Associates!
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