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Is This Your Situation: Considering Buying a Home Sight-Unseen?


It may sound like a huge risk to invest thousands of dollars in a home that you haven't seen yet, but many buyers from out of state or overseas purchase homes sight-unseen. If you are looking to relocate, invest or simply want to jump on a home in a hot housing market, there are best practices to use for purchasing a home sight-unseen.
Go Beyond Just a Slideshow
It's typical for buyers to just click through photos of a home, but these listing photos tend to show only the most flattering views in a home. Buying a home sight-unseen will require a more in-depth look, such as a video walk-through tour that gives you access to all angles of the home. 
Bird's-Eye View
The actual home isn't the only thing you'll want to take a look at – you will also want to virtually tour the neighborhood. Check out Google Earth and use Street View to get a feel of the area and the neighborhood. This can reveal potential issues such as close by highways or train tracks that may be hidden in the listing photos.
Extra Set of Eyes
Home inspectors can reveal all of a home's issues before you ever close the deal, but for remote buyers, home inspectors can be your eyeballs at the physical home. Inspectors are generally hired after an offer is made on the home, but for buyers who can't physically visit the home, an inspector should be contacted before an offer is made. Inspectors can take a look at the home's profile online – videos, photos – and can pick out what the sellers may be trying to disguise or hide. This proactive step can help you make a decision on whether to make an offer.
Check Comps in the Neighborhood
Taking a look at comparable homes in the neighborhood is important for remote buyers. If there is an issue with the neighborhood, the surrounding homes' asking prices or selling prices will reveal that. If you purchase a home that you don't end up liking, good comps mean you can sell it easily and quickly.
Request Walk-Through Contingency
The only way you can truly know if the home is right for you is to view it with your own eyes, which is why it's is in your best interest to negotiate in your contract a walk-through contingency, allowing you to walk through the property before sealing the deal. Keep in mind that with all contingencies, the seller doesn't have to agree to them. They may also ask for a higher purchase price to make up for the contingency. If you are truly on the fence with a property, ask for a walk-through contingency.

Buying a home sight-unseen is a tricky process. Call me for more information on how to prepare yourself for this type of sale. 

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The information provided in this email newsletter is for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax and accounting advice, real estate investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional real estate, tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Home value estimate calculators provided herein are general estimations based on publicly available data and should not be used as a substitute for a professional appraisal. The information is provided “as is,” with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.
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