Before Buying a House Sight Unseen, Do These 4 Things First!

Before Buying a House Sight Unseen, Do These 4 Things First!

Meta: When you see a house online that you love but is in another state, don’t submit an offer sight unseen until you do these four things first!

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Whether you’re moving to a new state for your job, need a change of pace, or for love, the search for your new abode usually begins online. After spending countless hours scanning all of the online listings, you’ve stumbled across the home you can picture yourself growing old in. 

Fantastic! However, before you contact the listing agent to submit your offer, you need to take at least a little bit of time to do your homework first. While 22% of homebuyers purchased their home sight unseen, you need to do these four things first.  

1. Hire a top-rated real estate agent

A real estate agent is going to be your go-to person during this process – even if you found a house online! They are going to be the ones who can tell you if you’re getting a good deal or if the house is overpriced. They can take you on a video tour so you can get an idea about the flow of the house. Heck, they’ll even negotiate on your behalf! 

When you’re looking for a real estate agent to hire, read testimonials and call the agent to ask them questions about the area and their experience. You can even ask for referrals. 

2. Do your homework

You may have used the internet to begin your search, but there’s so much more to it than that. The online real estate listing sites are a great start, but you shouldn’t stop there. Use Google Street View to see the property and the neighborhood. Use FaceTime with your real estate agent and ask them questions as they tour the house. You can even use online groups to learn more about the neighborhood that you may be moving to. 

3. Demand a floor plan… or at least room dimensions

When you’re buying a house, having a floor plan can be a huge help because it’ll list pertinent information regarding room size and layout. If you have space, you can use tape to map out the room so you can see just how large (or small) the room may be. 

If the home’s seller doesn’t have the floor plan available, that’s okay too. You can ask the real estate agent you’re working with for room dimensions and then use a website like FloorPlanner.com to get a visual of your potential new home. 

4. Never skip the appraisal and home inspection!

It’s true that buyers would buy properties without home inspection or appraisal contingencies over the past two years, if you’re buying sight unseen, you should not skip them! Both the appraisal and inspection tend to be required if you’re financing the purchase, however even if you’re paying in cash, you still need them. 

The appraisal will let you know whether the house is worth what the homeowners are asking for. The home inspection will let you know if there are any problems with the house that the homeowner doesn’t know about (or knew about but didn’t disclose). These two tasks are going to protect you from buying an overpriced house with lots of issues! 

Since this is a huge investment and you are buying sight unseen, you’re only protecting yourself from potential disaster. Even your real estate agent will advise you to not skip out on these tasks! Trust your agent because they won’t steer you wrong. 

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