The ongoing pandemic has changed our lives. We were forced to learn how to work, shop, and even buy homes remotely. It was always possible to buy a house from afar, but it was not standard practice as people, of course, wanted to see what they were buying. However, things have changed, and this is now standard practice. We can thank the age of technology for that! Nowadays, you can talk to your realtor over Skype, attend open house events virtually, sign all the paperwork online, etc. But you have to be careful – mistakes cost a lot! And that will be our topic for today – mistakes to avoid when buying a house remotely. So, if you plan to embark on this journey, keep on reading.
Not Doing Your Homework Properly
Buying a house remotely requires doing a lot of homework and research on your own. For instance, if you want to start long-distance house hunting in Seattle, you will first have to research all the neighborhoods, choose the one that suits you best, do market research, compare the prices, etc. Moreover, you will have to look into different real estate companies, appraisal agencies, home inspectors, and even movers. You cannot rely on your real estate agent to do all of this for you.
While doing all of this, it would also be a good idea to make a list of must-haves and can’t-haves! These should be the lists that state what you want out of a property and what you absolutely do not want. This may seem redundant right now, but it is of key importance when buying a house remotely. Just think about it – by knowing what you want (and do not want), doing research will be much easier.
Hiring a Bad Real Estate Agent
When buying a house remotely, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is choosing a bad real estate agent. That may be an agent with a lack of experience, an unprofessional agent, and in some cases, an agent who does not know the area well. All of these things and many more can contribute to having a terrible remote home-buying experience.
So, avoid homebuyer’s remorse, and find a good realtor. Ask around and see if you can get recommendations from the people you trust. Or, again, do a lot of research – the Internet is full of information and can significantly ease your search. Do your best to find good agents, and in return, they will do their best to find you your dream home.
Relying on Photos Alone
Most often, sellers hire professional photographers to take photos of their homes. Those photos are then edited to present the space at its best. After all, that is the best way to attract buyers.
When it comes to mistakes to avoid when buying a house remotely, this should be your top priority. Never rely on photos alone. They can be deceiving. Instead, request an online tour of the place you plan on buying. Or, ask the seller or your real estate agent to take new photos with their phones – these will certainly be a bit more realistic.
Not Requesting a Floor Plan
As previously mentioned, when buying a house remotely, you can’t rely on photos. Another thing you can’t rely on is all the dimensions listed on real estate sites. Trust us, even with all the info, you will still not be able to envision the layout of rooms and the overall floor plan of the home you are interested in buying. Not having a floor plan is another mistake to avoid when buying a house remotely!
A floor plan is necessary for many reasons. But, let us mention one reason that many people neglect. Namely, without a floor plan, people don’t know how much space they are working with. That is, they don’t know what they can bring with them and what they should leave behind when moving. Thus, to see if it is necessary to part with some things, be sure to see the floor plan. Avoiding this mistake will save you a ton of your time, energy, and money you would otherwise spend on packing things that you would have to discard later.
Picking the Wrong Home Inspector
The last one on our list of mistakes to avoid when buying a house remotely is picking the wrong home inspector. Just like real estate agents are there to help us find our dream homes, home inspectors are there to help us understand whether the house we are interested in buying is in good condition or not. Not being able to see the house yourself can evoke feelings of home-buying anxiety! Those feelings may force you to over-think and have a ton of sleepless nights. Only a professional, reliable, experienced home inspector can help you deal with these feelings. So, hire the best you can find and do not try to cut corners. When you have a good team working with you, buying a house remotely doesn’t have to be stressful and complicated. Thus, be sure to surround yourself with the best people for the job.