How to Avoid a Disaster When Buying Sight Unseen

Sometimes to secure the house you want as quickly as possible, you may have to decide to buy a home without even touring it. This is called buying a house sight unseen. Even though purchasing a home sight unseen may be a good strategy, some risks can be involved. Here are some tips on avoiding trouble if you have decided to buy your house sight unseen.   

Be Cautious  

When choosing a home for you and your family, you should always be cautious, but you should be even more careful when deciding to buy a house without even touring it. 

Picking an Agent  

You can start being more cautious by being extra careful when picking out your real estate agent. If you have friends and family in the area you are moving to, you can ask them for recommendations, or you could ask them to meet the agent you choose in person and then ask for you their opinion. If you need more tips on picking an agent, check out our article on how to find the best real estate agent. 

Hire an Inspector  

After you take extra care picking out an agent and finding the right house for you, it is time to make an offer on your home. Before you purchase, it is essential to get your home inspected by a professional inspector. Before choosing an inspector, you should ask your real estate agent, friends, or family if they have any recommendations for a home inspector. Once you have picked out your inspector, you can ensure that any property issues are reported to you. Finally, consider an inspection contingency that provides you with an out before making one of the most significant purchases of your life. 

Take a Virtual Tour 

Even though you cannot take a tour in person you should really take a virtual tour before you purchase the house. You could do this via Facetime or Zoom with either your real estate agent or your friends or family. Taking a virtual tour allows you to ask questions while looking at the home. Some of the questions you should ask your agent are: 

  • How is the cell phone reception on the property? 
  • Could you show me the inside of every closet? 
  • How many pairs of shoes do you think could fit in the closet? 
  • Can I see the roof, how does it look? 
  • Are the gutters functioning properly? 
  • If there’s a basement, is it finished? 
  • If there’s an attic, can I see it? 
  • Can I see the backyard and front yard? 
  • How’s the temperature of the house? Is it too cold, too hot?  
  • Can I see the kitchen appliances? 
  • If there’s a garage, can I see the inside of the garage? 
  • Could I see the views outside the windows? 
  • Is there anything that you have seen, that concerns you? 

With these questions, hopefully you and your family can get a better idea of the house you are going to buy sight unseen.  

Technology Can’t Do It All 

When buying a home sight unseen, technology can be one of the greatest assets to learning as much information as possible. But you need to remember that technology cannot do it all. For example, the pictures of your home will not give you an accurate depiction of the lighting in your home because the photographer could have used flash photography. Something else technology cannot do is tell you how loud the traffic or the neighbors outside your house are. Finally, you will not know the smells in the area near your home. But of course, any of these concerns you have could be addressed by your real estate agent, friends, family, or the inspector.  

Buying a home is a big decision but buying a home sight unseen is an even more significant decision that requires much more consideration. Hopefully, with these tips, you feel more secure in deciding to buy your home sight unseen! 

Helen Wells
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Hi! I’m Helen Wells, the Content Writer Intern here at In my spare time, you can find me either reading a novel, watching the latest TV drama, or hanging out with my friends. Follow me on Twitter at @hawells21.