With a global pandemic happening, buying a home sight unseen is becoming more common. Especially in a strong real estate market like Bozeman. While it may seem like a crazy idea to make such a large purchase virtually, it is quite doable.
Getting familiar with the area you are looking to buy a home in is essential. Researching the town and neighborhoods will make it easier to narrow down your search. If you are moving to a brand new city, working with an agent who is familiar with the different areas will be very useful. Utilize Google Earth to get a visual of the area and see homes you are interested in from a birds-eye view. Look into homes for sale in the area to get an idea of the average type of home, pricing, lot sizes, all the things that are important to consider in your home buying process.
It's always advisable to work with a real estate agent when buying or selling home, but if you plan to do it virtually it is imperative. Make sure to find an agent you trust, who is knowledgable of the area and technologically savvy. You will need them to answer your questions about the neighborhood and the details of the home you can't see in photos and tours. Having an agent do Facetime tours of homes with you will be the best way to see the home. Often home tours don't show everything because they are edited for length. Facetime tours with your agent will be the time you can have them show you exactly what you want to see in the home and be able to ask questions as you go.
Whenever you start a home search it's good to consider your wants and needs. Being specific about the things you have to have in a home while being flexible with the extras you would like. Be open to all options your agent might give you. When you buy a home virtually you need to be adaptable. As much as you do your research and feel confident in what you are buying, there's a chance everything won't be exactly what you thought.
There are a few things to look out for in your initial research that can help narrow down the choices. If there are more exterior photos than interior, it could mean the inside needs some work or vice versa. Read the ad copy carefully, words like fixer-upper can mean money pit and cozy can just mean small. It is possible to ask for a walkthrough contingency in the buy-sell if you are concerned about truly not seeing the home before closing. Just know that a seller does not have to agree to this but it never hurts to ask.
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