If you are an overseas or interstate investor, buying real estate sight unseen has never been easier. Thanks to the Internet and a myriad of tools available, not only can you virtually view a property via a video walk-through, you can also complete the entire transaction online; seamlessly and efficiently.
You don’t have the privilege of physically walking through a home and experiencing that instant feeling of love or loathe. In addition, you’re heavily relying on what the sellers choose to show you, as opposed to what your keen eye can see in person. However, it’s not impossible to buy a property sight unseen. In fact, it’s becoming more popular with international buyers keen to snap up Brisbane property in preparation for the 2032 Olympics.
Buying property this way can be a risky financial outlay if you aren’t equipped with the know-how and a team you can trust. Here are three key factors to consider when purchasing a real estate site unseen by you.
Research the area
Google Maps is just one tool easily available to allow you to walk-through, browse and get a better feel for the area you are scoping out. Prior sales history as well as satellite imagery captured online can provide excellent insight into your intended property’s surroundings and local amenities. Additionally, a call or email to the local council can provide you access to zoning or future development plans.
Independent advice is crucial when buying a property sight unseen. A buyer’s agent works for you and are independent from a real estate agent. Whilst they will most likely have favourable relationships with many real estate companies, they will take your checklist, your must-haves and dealbreakers, and work on your behalf to ensure that what you are being shown is the real deal. Their local knowledge will also provide valuable insight into the area and can typically offer guidance as to a realistic valuation based on recent sales.
Organise a pre-purchase building inspection
We all know the saying, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ – and the same goes for real estate. There’s nothing more valuable than an independent and thorough professional inspection. Any hidden issues including structural concerns and signs of moisture will not only be identified but documented for your evidence.
Due diligence is key in all property purchases but never more essential when seeking property to buy in another country or state. Utilising the assistance of a buyer’s agent and organising a pre-purchase inspection are always considered to be money well spent when your aim is to mitigate risk.