Should you buy a home online?
Online retailers, travel apps, even auto sales websites – have all taken their toll on the personal service and direct interaction that used to be the norm not very long ago. Could the DIY online trend ever change the way you buy your next home? We don’t think so!
But as employees and businesses have shifted to virtual methods of meetings and interaction, it’s natural to think real estate might make the leap as well. Yet, buying a home virtually demands a unique approach. It’s not enough to simply view a home tour on the listing and submit an offer online. With the right approach, however, it is possible to buy completely virtually and still get the information you need to make the best decision for a new home.
Furthermore, as we continue to see unprecedented activity in the Asheville and western NC real estate market, buyers sometimes find they are too late to offer on recently listed homes. For the serious home buyer, this can be frustrating, often causing them to make last-minute plans to run out and view homes, interfering with work and home life.
Fortunately, we have a few tips to help:
- Virtual Tour – Forget the slideshow. If you are going to buy a home, you need to know how the rooms are laid out, what the “flow” is, and if it works for you. Even a Matterport photo tour through the home is no substitute. Photos alone will not tell you about how steep the driveway is, or if there is a weird slope in the floor. A virtual tour should be a live event with your agent onsite and on camera. Ask your agent to open closets and cabinets and look up and down. Zoom in on areas of concern and make lots of notes to delve into later.
- Ask the Right Questions – All home buyers need to ask the important questions, and with touring through your agent’s eyes, it’s even more necessary. Ask about the age of the roof and HVAC systems. Look under cabinets for water damage, and run the faucets to check the water pressure. Be sure to take an extra look at any items of concern listed in disclosures. Ask your agent to help you think of all the things that can’t be seen in a virtual tour, such as street noise, pet damage, or over-the-fence issues. Don’t be afraid to ask too many questions.
- Be Prepared to Buy – Whether viewing a potential new home in person or through an agent, a serious buyer must be ready to move quickly in this market. Your ARG agent’s network of professionals in the Asheville area can assist with financing and inspections. Pre-approval letters should already be in place before seeing homes. Having an in with the right inspectors can help you shorten the due diligence period, leading to a more attractive offer you can submit to the seller.
It might be intimidating to consider buying a home sight-unseen, but the tools are available. In this competitive market and with the lingering Covid-19 health concerns, it may be a more likely scenario than one would think. Perhaps you can buy your next home without making the trip – by being well represented and following a few simple tips. The best tip? Call Asheville Realty Group. We do this all the time.
About Asheville Realty Group
Asheville Realty Group is a boutique brokerage firm offering full-service real estate services. We have locally experienced agents who specialize in residential homes, luxury homes, investment properties, country-side acreage and everything in between. We love Asheville and the surrounding western North Carolina mountain communities that we call home!
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