Buying a House Online? How to Get it Done in 8 Steps

So you’re in the market for a home, but you don’t want to shop “in-person” or rent for a while as you shop. The good news is that it has never been easier to be this shopper! Follow these steps to get the best experience buying a house online.

Woman searching online for a house

1. Get Very Clear On What Matters to You

It’s even more important if you’ll be viewing homes virtually to know what you want in a house and what you need in a house. By having some basic requirements, you can eliminate some options and make your search a little more focused, so that you’re not constantly in a maybe-this, maybe-that feeling.

Virtual house tour

2. Find a Trusted Local Agent to Find You Good Candidates

A great local agent is going to be able to give context to your search. They know what neighborhoods are getting a lot of new business activity, where local parks are, and what kind of property tax or zoning you might encounter. By working with an agent, when buying a house online, you get a local who is on the ground in the place where you are aiming to buy.

real estate agent

3. Pair Agent Suggestions With Online Research

Agents will often set you up with online search alerts, but definitely use the online sites where people post homes as well! By doing your homework, you can potentially find a home that isn’t as well seen because it was only posted a few places.

4. Get Preapproved and Look Into Online Closings

Work with a lender to get preapproved for a loan so you know your budge. This is often possible when buying a home online! These same lenders can talk you through just how “online” of a closing process they can provide, or if you’ll need to be in-person for some aspects of paperwork. 

online approval

5. Do Virtual Tours of Promising Homes 

Your agent should be able to take video or do video calls with you while looking through the home. They are essentially being your eyes and ears on the home. These virtual home tours help you increase your confidence either way. Either this is indeed your home or you need to keep looking.

online house tour

6. Submit Your Offer From Afar

Often, buying a home online means that you send an offer when you’ve never set foot in the house. Remember, however, that your agent wants this deal to go through. They would tell you anything they noticed in their strong experience that would be worth knowing before buying.

7. Conduct Inspections and Final Walkthrough

If you can be in-person for inspections and especially for the walkthrough before closing, you can gain the peace of mind associated with getting these final moments with the house before completing the transaction. If you can’t be there, your agent can still be of use!

house walkthrough

8. Buy Your Home and Reap the Benefits!

Once you buy this home, you’ll be so glad that you didn’t have to rent when you arrived or have the stress of moving twice or more. The process requires a lot of attention to detail. Buying a home online is far more possible than in any other time in the past.

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