More and more people are doing everything virtually these days including buying and selling real estate. The demand for digital tools and technology has increased exponentially over the last couple of months simply because were trying to stay safe and stays distant. But even before the pandemic, more and more people were moving towards online transactions including real estate. Everything is streaming nowadays including schools, work meetings, and even exercise classes so it naturally begs the question if you can buy a house completely online?
A recent report from Zillow found that both buyers and sellers are likely to purchase or sell a home completely online and 36% of Americans said the pandemic makes them even more likely to buy a home completely online and 30% said they would do the same even after the pandemic was over.
Are there pros and cons to buying a home online?
As with anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to buying and selling real estate completely online. The benefit of course is convenience. You can go through virtual tours, open houses, and high-quality images that are gonna make the experience nearly as good as being there. But, nothing beats actually being there in person. We tend to go with our gut and get an emotional sense of the home and that's hard to do simply with online photos or videos. Even if the real estate agent completes an in-home tour wall you are on the other end of the phone, nothing beats actually standing in the home, looking around, observing details, and checking out the neighborhood.
So how do you buy a home online?
First of all you'll want to choose a real estate agent. We have agents that specialize in the Northwest Indiana real estate market from Hammond to Portage and everywhere in between. Whether you looking for Lake Michigan waterfront homes, a great investment property, your first home, or your 10th home, we have agents that specialize in this area and assist buyers only. Interview your agent, ask them questions, find out how many clients they like to work with on a regular basis so that you know they have your best interest at heart and have time for you.
You can find a mortgage lender online as well and complete the application process as well as final signing. Everything can be done online including zero contact mortgages.You can get preapproved online, run all your credit report, and even scan and email secure documents such as tax returns, W-2s, and bank statements.
You can submit an online offer and even wire earnest money to an escrow account or title company.
The appraisal can happen without you being present and even home inspectors are taking virtual tours around the house with face time or zoom meetings. While we always recommend accompanying the inspector, in these interesting times, most inspectors are doing everything possible to keep their client safe and yet provide them with the most up-to-date and accurate information about the property.
Depending on the escrow company and lender you choose, some final signings can even be done remotely. Most need to be done within the presence of a notary but each lender is different and may have options for completely zero contact closing arrangement. If nothing else, this may be the only time you come face-to-face with another person.
If you're interested in learning more about how the Nicole Hansen Real Estate Group handles our buyers and sellers these days, don't hesitate to give us a call. We can ease your mind about how to buy and sell safely online, how to price your home, how to get in touch with the lender in our area, and how to close on the home of your dreams. We look forward to talking with you today.