SHOULD I BUY A HOME SIGHT UNSEEN?

Written By Jennifer Wilson

I am going to address this from two different perspectives; Traditional Home Buyer and Investor. Buying a home sight unseen means to purchase real estate without touring the property in person.

Home Buyer

When demand outweighs supply and appealing homes hit the market, this can often generate a bidding war and sell quickly. Some buyers are eager to move fast or be in a particular neighborhood so they will buy a home sight unseen. This can be a good strategy when in a competitive real estate market. Do note, in some cases the Realtor has seen the home in person and provide a video or Facetime walk through of the property. According to Redfin research, 63% of those who purchased in 2020 made the offer without viewing the property in person. This can often be the scenario for those relocating to another state.

Investor

Since you are purchasing in the same market as a traditional buyer, you are most likely experiencing similar market conditions. Be clear on what you want. Make sure the product fits what you are looking for; whether it is a flip or long term rental. Research the neighborhood; buy in a neighborhood you are familiar with. If not, hire a trusted Realtor to advise you. A Realtor can also advise you on market rents, resell values, etc. Some investors get so caught up in taking their investing business to higher levels that they start purchasing without seeing them. There are also experienced Investors that focus on particular neighborhoods and so making a sight unseen purchase a no brainier.

Buying a property sight unseen is can sometimes be warranted and worth the risk ,but here are a few things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Have a home inspection
  • Having title check performed
  • Having independent appraisal conducted
  • Do your best to get disclosures from the seller
  • Make sure you at least do a final walk through before closing.

Buying sight unseen is not without it’s risks, but it can get you into the property you have been looking for. Remember, protect yourself. No one else is going to.

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