Submitting an offer on a home without ever setting foot
inside is not new… military buyers and investors have been doing it for a long
time. And now with the COVID-19
Pandemic, it has become more common place for buyers who simply didn’t want to
take any of the risks such as traveling or being exposed to others during
in-person showings. But is this a smart
thing to do? As a REALTOR®,
I would advise against it, for these reasons:
It’s a very competitive market out there right
now! Many listing agents will rank a
“sight unseen” offer way down on the pecking order if there are multiple offers
because they come with such uncertainty; chances of the transaction falling
apart before closing due to unforeseen repairs after inspections or buyer
expectations are definitely greater.
The use of “virtual staging” has really taken
off in the past year…but DON’T be tempted to rely solely on these photos that
have been altered! While “fake”
furniture, art and decor placed in rooms may give you a general idea of how the
room layout could look, they hide flaws.
Photos of “real life” furniture, walls and floors will reveal
imperfections if you know what to look for.
At the very least, photos of listings with virtual staging should be
followed with photos of the same rooms without it. If you like the home after you’ve seen
photos, GO LOOK AT IT; or have your REALTOR® preview the home in person
and face time with you or take a video for you to see if it fits your
criteria. If it does, arrange to GO LOOK
AT IT in person.
Location is the #1 priority for most
buyers. If you don’t physically
experience the actual neighborhood and commute to work, school or play, you
really have NO idea of what you’re moving in to! Some areas will offer a plethora of nearby
shopping, restaurants and services, while others may not. If convenience to these options is important
to you, drive around the neighborhood and surrounding area to see if it appeals
Noise or smell factor: all the photos, virtual tours and videos will
not reveal these two hidden considerations.
A property located near a business that omits strong odors on a regular
basis (think a bbq place that uses wood for cooking, or a landfill that
produces a horrible smell when the weather is hot and the wind blows “just
right”) can make you hate your home in a matter of weeks after moving in! A neighbor with a couple of constantly
barking dogs or a zest for early morning or late evening yard work can drive
you crazy as well. Not to mention the
obvious noise from high traffic areas or railroad tracks…
So, as temping as it may be to
submit a “sight unseen” offer (for whatever reason), think again. Buying a home just may be the biggest
investment you’ll ever make in your lifetime.
Make sure you can purchase with confidence and that you’re making the
right choice…this really can only truly be done by seeing the property IN
As a Buyer there are several questions you should ask if the home you’re considering is located in an area with an HOA, or “Homeowners Association”. Also, learn about the new Texas HOA reform laws that went into effect September 1, 2021.