Buying a home is often times the biggest purchase a person makes, so you would think that a buyer would want to physically go inside a house before buying. Believe it or not, a growing number of people sign on the dotted line without ever stepping foot in the door. Sounds crazy, right? The fact is, technology and the internet are making this easier than ever to do.
I recently sold a home in Naples in which the buyers were from the “Land of Snow” and they did the entire purchase and closing from there. I sent them all the information on the property and community, as well as pictures through email. Then I went to the unit, did a walk through, and took more pictures and video for them. As the deal progressed, they hired a professional home inspector who inspected the unit. Amazingly, mold counts came back elevated, so they elected to have the seller clean and remediate the airborne mold. Then we had the same home inspector inspect the unit again and it passed with flying colors. The buyers up north were happy with the results and they closed via FedEx and email shortly thereafter.
Why is this happening and how can people be comfortable buying this way? It’s simple – a lot of buyers feel that the deals are so incredible right now that they don’t want to miss out. They hire a Realtor who has the local knowledge and expertise to be their eyes and ears. Then they hire a professional home inspector to inspect the home and make sure it’s in working condition. Online, they are able to see lots of pictures and video. These three things are enough to put a lot of buyers at ease.
I am seeing this more with investors and second home buyers than with primary occupant s and first time home buyers. Mostly because it’s a less emotional purchase for investors since they will rarely, if ever, use the property; they’ll end up reselling it or renting it out. If the numbers work and the property is in good shape, then it’s good enough for them!
The advantage is that you don’t have to pay for flights, hotels, and all the expenses of visiting our area if you have the faith to go with your gut. If, after reading this, you still think people would have to be crazy to buy this way, don’t worry, you’re not alone: the vast majority of people would never buy a home without ever touching it with their own hands and seeing it with their own eyes. This is not for everybody. Best of luck and happy hunting!