Even though it has been standard practice for sellers to pre-sign paperwork and have sale profits wired directly to a bank account, the whole process can now be done remotely. It is a rising trend, and buying a home remotely has never been easier.
Why Buy Remotely?
There are many reasons you might be looking to buy a home remotely, including:
- A last-minute job relocation
- An interstate move
- Required distancing for public health and safety
Your real estate agent can help you use anything from video conferencing for viewings to e-signatures to close the deal. If you cannot travel and see the house for yourself, everything you need is at your fingertips.
Making a Long-Distance Move
Purchasing a house remotely is only one part of the challenge. Once the deal is done, you will still need to move all your belongings to the new location. Hiring professional long-distance movers in Texas will help you reach your new home with ease if you are moving to a distant location. The last thing you want is to stress about the move and have the happy experience ruined. Professional movers have years of experience and know precisely how to protect your fragile items and transport them safely and ideally.
1. Find an Experienced Local Real Estate Agent
Finding an experienced real estate agent should be at the top of your list when you are buying a home remotely. Most importantly, they should understand the local market and the current situation with property values. Since you will not be physically present, the real estate agent will be your eyes and ears. They will be your guide with home browsing, virtual showings and inspections, and closing. If you have friends or family that can help you with a recommendation, ask them to do some research. You want to make sure that the real estate agent is experienced and has many positive online reviews. Once you contact them, try to ask as many questions as possible about their experience and how much time they have to dedicate to you as a remote buyer.
2. Make a List of What You Are Looking For
It is vital to know what you want and what you do not want when purchasing a home. Ensure you are clear when you make a wish list and go over it with your real estate agent. Define what your absolute musts are and what the deal-breakers are. This way, you will significantly narrow down the choice of properties. Specify your preferences regarding:
- Property type
3. Familiarize Yourself with the Market
Before diving in, check with your real estate agent if the market you are considering buying a house in is a buyer’s market or a seller’s market. Fewer buyers are looking at homes in a buyer’s market, and a broad inventory of available homes is available. This will possibly give you more flexibility if you want to bid. If you are looking to buy in a seller’s market, expect more competition and a smaller inventory of homes. You will need to act fast if you are interested in a particular property. With an excellent real estate agent and all the options online, you do not have to go to the area to find this information. Regardless of the local trends, understanding the local market is quite beneficial when purchasing a home from a remote location.
4. Get Your Mortgage Pre-Approved
Unless you have significant savings, you will need a loan to finance your new home. This, too, can be done remotely, which is exceptionally convenient if you cannot leave your home frequently. To start, find a lender who will give you a loan pre-approval. You can submit all papers and sign agreements electronically. Once you get a mortgage pre-approval letter, you will know how much money you can expect to get if you apply for a loan. It will give you a more exact estimate of how much you can spend on a home.
5. Use Google Earth when Buying a Home Remotely
Once you know where you want to live, Google Earth will give you a detailed look at the area. The street view feature can help you research the neighborhood and nearby homes. Some neighborhoods could have unattractive features like large sculptures or odd decorations. Bear in mind that the online listing may not show all the details like a nearby construction lot or an impound lot.
6. Start the Online Search
Before you start your search, make a checklist of all your imperatives. Doing so will significantly narrow your search and pull you back from wasting time. Do not get too stuck on a home that looks perfect in the photos. The essential aspects of a home need to be seen in real life, and this is where a virtual tour comes in. Therefore, before you make any final decisions, arrange a virtual tour with your agent.
7. Request a Virtual Showing
Ask your agent to set up a virtual walk-through. This way, you will see the property up close through video chat. Your agent will video chat with you while walking through the house. They can open doors, turn on lights, give you a closer look inside closets, and zoom in on any details that you are curious about. Virtual viewing can be the deciding factor when buying a home remotely. Consequently, it would be best to establish clear and easy communication with your agent. They can help you make the final decision on a property.
8. If You Can—Visit the Property
This step is optional, and it is possible to buy a home without it. However, if there is any way that you can pop by for a short visit—try to fit it in. You have all the technology at your disposal, but nothing can replace that in-person experience. It will give you a feel of the area, the layout, and the sounds and smells that cannot be transferred through a video call.
9. Schedule a Home Inspection
Before purchasing a house remotely, it is crucial to schedule a home inspection. This will tell you what problems you might face with your home and what needs to be repaired. Although a home inspection is not always required, it is recommended for remote buyers. This is your opportunity to go into the specifics of a property and find out if there is anything that you will need to address before you can close. Have your real estate agent attend the inspection with you on a video call.
10. Close Remotely
Your electronic signature is legally valid, making it super simple for you to close remotely. You’ll sign the papers using an electronic-signature system, which usually sends the signed forms back to where it is required. Even if you need to sign some documents physically, these can be sent by mail and verified by lawyers. Neither you nor the agent needs to be present for the appraisal, so you will have no problem when buying a home remotely.