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Steps To Buying A House Remotely

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With the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, it has become the new standard for both buyers and sellers to do all of their real estate work from the comfort of their homes. While some things still need to be done face to face, buying a home can now be done remotely easier than ever.  Today, let’s discuss the benefits of buying a home remotely and how exactly you can do so.

Reasons To Buy Remotely

With the coronavirus still hanging around in 2021, people have grown more used to buying their homes remotely. Why take the risk of contact when you can minimize face-to-face interactions through remote transactions?

This isn’t just limited to pandemic times. Plenty of people, either because of being out of state or busy with their daily lives, real estate has adapted itself well to working remotely much better than other industries. Minimize the risk and effort by doing the majority of steps remotely.

Picking Your Agent

Finding the right real estate agent is key to making sure your remote home-buying goes without a hitch. Make sure the agent you pick is communicative, reputable, and most importantly, willing to go outside for you in these times. If they are stationed near your property, then that’s even better. Buying a home has a lot more components than just paying for it. A good agent can help you get through all the processes with no problem.

When scouting for agents, make sure you are in a position to have a remote interview, preferably by video, to get a good idea of their character. If they are a recommendation from a close friend or associate, then this will be an easier pick.

The first thing to consider is experience. How long have they been in the industry? How are they used for remote transactions? Do they have the technology for a remote transaction? Despite the location gap, constant communication is a must.

Experience in remote work is crucial because even seasoned real estate agents may not be tech-savvy enough for remote work. In addition to being experienced agents in real estate, they also need to be caught up with the latest real estate software. More importantly, they must have a smartphone capable of video calls for house tours. Knowledge of the platforms where you can communicate remotely is a must when looking for an agent.

Next, ask them about their availability. If you’re buying a house far away, the possibility of different time zones might be a worry. If they also work part-time, make sure that is properly communicated so you know when they’re available for questions or updates. Remote buyers should prefer full-time agents as they are available for your calls more often than not.

Picking a House

Show Your Prospects
Now that you have your agent, it’s time to pick a home. Share some prospects with your agent and have them see which ones are best suited for you. If you already have a list of homes you might want, then that should ease the workload for your agent. When providing wants, go for macro, not micro.

Things such as size, number of floors, location, and number of rooms are more important than minor details such as furnishings. Let them know as early as possible about any specific features that are a must for your new home.

Video Tour
Now that you have an agent, and a house that the both of you feel good about, it’s time for a video tour. While pictures are well and good, a video tour allows for a more in-depth look at your possible new home. While on video tour, have your agent bring you around every nook and cranny of the house, and communicate with them as if they were there. Ask them about any possible issues that you spot.

If possible, record your video tour as well and have your real estate agent send it to you. That way, you can review it before making a final decision.

Physical Visit

The pandemic has spearheaded some companies to include a “sight unseen” disclosure in their contract. This specifies that the buyers need to understand the risk of not being there to physically see the house and relying on third-party vendors. Basically, while an agent will help you as much as possible, they are not liable for anything you end up not liking when you actually visit the property. 

There is no replacing actually visiting the property, even if it’s just once. Make sure to schedule a visit by either you or a trusted proxy besides your agent. Take all the necessary precautions to make sure the visit is safe and brief,

Professional Inspection

You should get a general inspection of the house after your visit by a professionally licensed house inspector. Afterwards, go the extra mile with specialists for things such as the plumbing, chimney system and other possible concerns. This gives both the buyer and the agent an understanding of what they’re getting with the house. Anything that you or the agent miss which may end up being a huge issue down the line can be nipped in the bud at this stage.

Negotiating a Deal
While the agent will be handling the bulk of this part, communicate to the agent what your budget is. Any adjustments to the offer should be made at this stage. To further ease your worries, schedule a home inspection to give the last lookover of the house in case you and your agent missed out on anything during the video tour.

Close The Deal
Once you’re happy with the deal, it’s time to close it. An E-sign has been recognized as a valid form of signature for documents since the E-Sign Act of 2000. This makes remote transactions so much simpler. Your agent will just send the necessary documents over via e-mail and all you need to do is digitally sign them. After that, your agent just prints them out, and voila, you are now a homeowner!

About The Author:
Katreena is a scientist and a life hack specialist. She’s authored scientific journals on biotechnology and molecular biology. To take a break from scientific journals, she puts her mind into writing about lifestyle, health, and sustainability. She strongly believes that kindness makes the world go round.

Disclosure: You should always consult a real estate attorney and a CPA when making any real estate decision, especially buying a home sight unseen.  Reading this article does not constitute a real estate agency relationship.

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