September 29, 2021

Buying a property sight unseen

The past 18 months have changed the way people buy and sell property, with social distancing and restrictions resulting in more people noting they would now consider purchasing a home sight unseen.

But what’s involved in purchasing a property without physically inspecting it and how can you ensure you are getting what you hope for?

Here’s a quick guide to buying a property sight unseen, and the steps you should take as the purchaser.

More people prepared to purchase sight unseen

According to a recent survey by Canstar, one in nine Australians would now consider purchasing a property without physically inspecting it, and the figure applies to both home buyers and investors alike.

This move to make a large financial decision without even seeing what they are buying is being driven by two major factors:

  • ongoing lockdowns and restrictions in multiple states
  • rising house prices and an increasingly competitive market.

Steps to take

Although more people may be willing to purchase a property sight unseen than they have been in the past, that doesn’t mean you should be remiss in your due diligence.

Any real estate purchase is a major decision, and is likely to be one of the biggest financial commitments you will make in your lifetime.

So, let’s walk through the steps to take if you are considering purchasing sight unseen.

Do your research

The internet is the starting point for almost all real estate journeys, regardless of how or where you intend to purchase a property.

Start the process by researching the areas where you are considering buying, looking at things like suburb data, available amenities, transport options, schools etc.

If you identify a property that piques your interest in the meantime, research the street, the neighbourhood and all the things within the immediate vicinity.

Use video

Video is a great way to get a feel for the property, and also the region around it. Use the property’s marketing video, along with the floorplan to visualise how the property is laid out and how it is positioned.

Then turn to tools like Google Maps and Street View to gain an understanding of the street and immediate neighbourhood.

Request an agent walk-through

If the property looks like it might be the one for you, but you cannot attend in person, ask the agent to do a walkthrough and Facetime or Skype with you as they do.

This allows you to see the property in detail, and also enables you to ask any questions of the agent.

At this point pay attention to things like the size of the rooms, their aspect and how they connect to each other.

Have a friend or relative attend for you

If possible, you should have a trusted friend or relative attend the property to inspect it in person on your behalf.

Again, they could Skype or video call you from the home, so that you can virtually walk through it with them.

Pest and building inspections are essential

Pest and building inspections should be undertaken for every property purchase, but they are even more critical if you are purchasing the property sight unseen.

When you receive the pest and building reports back, go through them carefully.

Looking to buy or sell?

If you’re considering buying or selling, why not chat with one of our friendly Eview agents on 1300 438 439 or browse our available properties here.