In the digital age, online photos and videos can take you across the world at the click of a button. Bearing this in mind and considering the competitive state of today’s market, do you really need to visit a property in person before buying it?
Although the answer to this question is likely to differ from individual to individual, people buying properties sight unseen is becoming increasingly popular. Among those doing it are investors looking to expand their portfolios, who simply don’t have the time to visit properties in other cities. There are, however, a whole host of other reasons.
Why do people buy properties sight unseen?
One of the key reasons that more and more people feel comfortable buying properties without seeing them in person is the wealth of information available online. Compared to 20 years ago where a property could be successfully marketed with a column in a newspaper, the stakes have now changed.
Prospective buyers are now able to go online and check out a full property description, as well as detailed photos, videos and potentially even VR tours, all from the comfort of their computer or mobile device.
In addition to this, property listings now frequently include floor plans, which serve to provide prospective buyers with a full layout of the property in question. This, to an extent, removes the need to actually walk around it in person.
The importance of research when buying a property sight unseen
Although more and more people are successfully purchasing properties sight unseen, it’s incredibly important to conduct full research and due diligence.
This shouldn’t just reflect the property in question – you should also look at the surrounding area. Collect data on statistics such as local employment, vacancy rates, population growth and zoning rules. With these under your belt, you’ll have the required information to make an informed decision about whether or not the property is suitable.
There’s always going to be the chance that you’ll be disappointed with the property in real life, but if the numbers add up, you’ll be able to justify the purchase financially.
Top tips when buying property sight unseen
First and foremost, be sure that you know the market well. Research the reasons behind any variations between neighbourhoods to understand where your property sits.
You should also be sure to not let your decision be completely guided by property photos. Explore any videos of the property and if needed, get in contact with the homeowners personally to discuss the finer details.
On top of this, although you might be in a rush to buy, try your best to find someone who can view the property on your behalf. Whether this be a buyer’s agent or a trusted family member, their insight into the property will be invaluable to you.