Like anything else in the world today, homebuying has been deeply impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In the past year, people moved from attending open houses to visiting a property virtually. This is what online home buying is all about. It is virtually touring a prospective home, applying for a mortgage online, signing the paper digitally, and closing the deal without even meeting the real estate agent in person.
Buying a home is an elaborate and often overwhelming process. It is the biggest purchase you will ever make in your life, so why shouldn’t you worry about the process? For many, the thought of buying a house online without ever seeing it in person is plain ludicrous. Who would ever do such a crazy thing?
Plenty of people will do that crazy thing. They’ve done it and they’re happy with their purchases. They went online, searched for homes to buy, and closed the deal in a couple of months. In fact, so popular is this process that real estate companies are paying for PPC services to advertise their listings online. Companies have gotten traction from advertising their property listings through pay-per-click and search engine marketing.
Why Buy a Home Remotely
If the coronavirus pandemic is not a reason enough for you to stay at home and transact remotely with your real estate agent, then what will? It is as good a time as any to invest in a home if you are in a financial position to do so. However, buying a property should not put your life in peril. Instead of meeting personally with an agent and visiting the property online, use technology to your advantage.
Find the Right Real Estate Agent
Finding the right agent is the key to a successful buying of property whether in real life or online. You will depend on your agent for every step of the homebuying process. If your agent doesn’t have the experience and skills to process selling homes online, you will have a hard time communicating what you want. At the same time, it is also important to find someone who fits your personality and understands what you need.
You can ask for recommendations and references. You can hold phone interviews as well. Make sure you’re comfortable transacting with the real estate agent.
Create a List
You need to create a list of the things you want and don’t want. You need a list of some non-negotiable items, too, such as a small backyard or a basement you can convert into your home office. Some essential things are the location (should it be near a school?), amenities, detached or condo-style, and proximity to public transportation. Make sure you write down what kind of neighborhood you want to live in. Mention also if you have kids who you will be sending to school and may want to take to a public park. These are important factors to consider.
Get Help for the Mortgage
It is better to get pre-approved by a bank before you start shopping for a house. These days, banks are more stringent with their requirements for a home loan. This is due to the fact that the pandemic is putting economies and markets at risk. However, if you are eligible for a bank loan, you shouldn’t have a hard time getting the approval as banks are only too happy to get a client to sign a deal.
You can get help from your real estate agent about getting bank approval. Depending on your income, which you might have to divulge in the course of the transaction, you can get your loan in as fast as a month or two. Make sure you’re not applying for a loan that’s bigger than what you can actually afford to pay.
While you have to trust your real estate agent, there is nothing wrong with wanting to double-check everything, too. Once the agent sends you the contract, have a lawyer go through the nitty-gritty. You can also check with the land registry to authenticate the property title, as well as the payment of the property taxes. Do not forget to ask the agent for the necessary paperwork such as their license and permit to operate. A legitimate real estate company or agent will not balk at the idea of presenting you with these documents.
Have you heard that phrase, “out with the old, in with the new”? The pandemic changed the way everyone lives, so why shouldn’t it change the way you shop for clothes, dine in your favorite restaurant, and invest in property? With 2020 now over, it is time to embrace all the innovativeness and newness that it brought, online homebuying including.