Why Home Buyers are Buying Homes “Site Unseen”
When a buyer makes an offer on a home “site unseen,” this means they are making an offer without visiting the property. Making an offer site unseen can expedite the buying process by reducing the time it takes for one or more walk-throughs or property visits. According to Redfin’s sample of 3000+ home buyers in May 2017, one in three purchased their property without physically seeing the home.
What’s the rush? According to Redfin, one-third of total homebuyers and 41% of millennial home buyers made an offer without visiting the home in May 2017. Transaction speed is a major influencer for making an offer site unseen. Redfin reports, homes in May went under contract in just 37 days. Limited available inventory means homes are selling faster and making an offer site unseen can allow them to be more competitive in a heated market.
The Rise of Virtual Tours. With features like interactive listings and 3D walkthroughs, buyers feel more comfortable bidding on a home they have not yet visited. This is especially helpful for long distance buyers who may not be able to immediately visit a property. With the help of a realtor, buyers can ask additional for pictures that may not be available on the online listing, like what the view out of a certain window might look like.
Buying a home site unseen is a reasonable option, in some situations. However, buyers who intend to make this type of purchase should beware of the risks they may face. Before making any home purchase, it is best to consult a trusted real estate professional.
Sources: Redfin, Zillow