As we continue to see unprecedented activity in the Knoxville real estate market, buyers often find they are too late to offer on recently listed homes. For the serious homebuyer, this can be frustrating, often causing them to make last-minute plans to run out and view homes, interfering with work and home life. If you are relocating (as many buyers are) from out-of-state, it may not be possible for you to be on location when a new home comes onto the market. In the current market, getting into a home right away is of utmost importance.
As employees and businesses have shifted to virtual methods of meetings and interaction, it’s natural for real estate to make the leap as well. Yet, buying a home completely virtual demands a unique approach. It’s not enough to simply view a home tour on the listing or Skype walk-through with the agent.
Fortunately, with the right approach, it is possible to buy completely virtually and still get the right information to make the best decision for a new home. Here are a few tips to help:
- Virtual Tour – A virtual tour should be a live event with an onsite agent; yours or the sellers. Ask the agent to open closets and storage and look up and down. Zoom in on areas of concern and make lots of notes for questions.
- Communication with your Realtor – Your realtor is your partner on the ground. When you have clearly communicated your hopes and needs in a home, the realtor will be able to help you determine if the home you are touring is the right fit for you as a buyer.
- Ask the Right Questions – All homebuyers need to ask the important questions and with virtual tours, it’s even more so. Before you send your realtor on a virtual tour, sit down and scroll through the images of a home and jot down questions that come to mind. Be prepared with this list during the virtual home tour. Ask about the age of the roof and HVAC systems. Look under cabinets for water damage and ask to see anything listed in disclosures. Remember the things that can’t be seen in a virtual tour, such as street noise or over-the-fence issues; don’t be afraid to ask.
- Be Prepared to Buy – Whether viewing the home virtually or in person, a serious buyer must be ready to move quickly in this market. Financing and pre-approval letters should already be in place before seeing homes.
It might be intimidating to consider buying a home virtually, but the tools are available and countless home buyers are using them. In this competitive Knoxville market, don't be afraid to enlist me for help in buying your home virtually!