It may seem strange that people would be buying houses without even seeing them in person first. After all, how would they know whether or not they like the house, or it fits in with their lifestyle, without first visiting in person? Well, purchasing a house without visiting first might not be as strange or unusual as you think!
Sometimes, buyers make the decision to purchase a house based on pictures and descriptions and not a first-person impression because of convenience. Wholesalers, and sellers who flip houses (which means that they buy the houses, fix them up. or redecorates the houses, and then sell them for a higher market value) might purchase so many houses that it just isn’t possible or economically feasible for them to visit every property before they purchase it. Even buyers who are only buying a single home might have trouble going to visit the house. If a buyer is moving to another state, or even another country, they might not be able to go visit the house. If they recently sold their house, they might be working within a time limit to buy and move into a new house, so taking the time to plan a trip to their new house before purchasing it might not be possible. Even though the buyers might not be able to see the houses in person, they can view it in other ways. Virtual tour videos, pictures, descriptions, and other specifications can help you make sure the house is the right one.
Now that you understand why some people might have to purchase a home without ever seeing it in person first, you might still be wondering how this could be a good idea, and what would happen if they end up in a house that doesn’t reflect on the pictures shown, or its description. Purchasing a house before seeing it might seem like a risky move, but there are some precautions that buyers might be able to take to protect themselves from scams or untrustworthy sellers.
One way to make sure that sellers aren’t just trying to pull the wool over your eyes and sell you a house that’s less than what it seemed through pictures or videos is to add a walk-through contingency to your contract before signing it. This contingency will allow you to take a final walk-through before you sign the final contract at closing. This is the best way to protect yourself. Sellers don’t actually have to accept this contingency, but if they do, it is a surefire way to make sure you’re not getting cheated with your new house. Sellers might not want to add this contingent, but if you are haggling with a seller or real estate agent on the price, it might be something to add to the bargain.
Another way that you can ensure you’re protected from scams and dishonest sellers is to give your agent a clear list of requirements before working with them. Since you won’t be able to actually walk around the potential neighborhood yourself, you need to know that the house specifications are true, and that the local schools are of high quality; transportation is reliable; commuting times aren’t out of control; and that shopping, entertainment, and recreation areas are easily accessible. Giving your real estate agent a list of requirements makes it much easier to be sure that your house will be the one you think you’re getting.