These days, you have many more options for purchasing a home than ever before. Thanks to COVID-19, purchasing a home virtually has improved greatly. To be clear, virtual home buying is when people search for and tour their homes virtually – meaning they don’t physically visit the homes but view them through digital virtual methods.
In addition to offering workarounds for mask and social distancing requirements, virtual home buying can also be helpful if you are relocating – saving time and potentially costly trips to search for homes in person – allowing you to search for, tour and purchase a home without leaving the comfort of your current home.
While the process of purchasing a home virtually is similar to purchasing a house in-person, you will rely heavily on your REALTOR® to assist with every facet of the transaction.
The real estate agents at the Mama Bear Team are well-versed in this process and can facilitate your transaction with the same excellence that they do during a traditional home buying experience. Click here to learn more about our Virtual Home Buying Program.
Below are some tips to help you make the most of your virtual experience.
Use all available tools
Looking at photos can provide a limited perspective of a home. Being able to tour a new space via video or better yet, a virtual home tour, can provide another level of detail and information. Having a floorplan of the home can also enable you to follow along during the tour. Not only is it helpful in understanding the flow and general layout of the space but can also provide a reference for room sizes and ceiling heights. So that you can make notes as you go, be sure to print out the floorplan ahead of time.
If you’re visiting a home in person, it’s quite easy to ask specific questions about the home, home improvements such as the condition of the roof or the age of the HVAC system. So take that same approach… don’t be afraid to question anything that seems unclear or stands out.
Other things to take into consideration that we take for granted when in person are the sounds and smells in and around the home. On a virtual tour, you might not be able to hear the neighbor’s dog barking outside or smell any strange odors. For you, some of these things could be deal-breakers, so ask your agent to be your nose and ears for you. Have them point out creaky cabinets, pet odors, squeaky floorboards or other issues that you may not notice on a video tour. You can even ask your agent to show you the view from windows or zoom in on details that may have otherwise been overlooked.
Check Out the Outside Too
A good REALTOR® will also be sure to show you the outdoor areas of the home. This includes the deck or patio space, front and back yards, garages or sheds. Ask them to help you examine the condition of the driveway and other exterior elements, such as the siding or roof, that could be expensive to replace. You will also want to note any concerns about lawn care needs and if the home includes a pool or hot tub.
Explore the Neighborhood
The neighborhood in which we live can be as important as the actual home itself. You can use Google Earth to help you to see the geographic area around the home and if it is near shopping centers, schools, parks, and restaurants. If you are moving locally, you could also do a physical drive-by of the area. Be sure to notice the quality of the roads and whether there are any power lines or freeways nearby that may contribute to noise in the yard.
There has never been a better time to take advantage of technology and purchase your home virtually. The Mama Bear Team’s Virtual Home Buying Program will help you make the most of the experience.
Ready to get started? Contact us today to schedule an interview!