Even in “normal” times, remote home purchases happened. From parents buying their child’s college residence to real estate investors that see great potential but don’t have time to fly in before purchase, many have found buying remotely to be an attractive, time-saving option. Whatever the reason, this is something Realtors have been well-versed in for many years! Now, of course, it has become (at least temporarily) the “new normal” to have the bulk of your home-buying experience take place virtually or remotely. Having a realtor that is already familiar with the process can make it a vastly better process and outcome. Enter yours truly, Janet Coughlin.
Here is what you can expect throughout the process.
Your Wish List
Narrowing down what you do (or, often more importantly) what you don’t want can help us find your perfect property faster. Of course, having too long a list in either category can also make the process a lot slower, if not impossible. Be sure to focus on the things that can’t be changed: location, size, parking, property style (villa, condo, townhome, etc.). Next, let’s figure out your deal-breakers. For example: your next place must have tennis courts or allow pets. We can always narrow or change these parameters, but especially in terms of virtually finding your perfect home, the deal-breaker criteria are very important!
When searching for a home from afar, you need to trust your agent’s ability to find the right home for you. This doesn’t mean you can’t scour the internet and send endless lists of suggestions to your Realtor (or not!), but it does mean that you believe they understand your needs and wants and you will allow them to lead you in the right direction. Remember, we as Realtors are trained to know the ins and outs of homes, properties, and the market as a whole. If you can’t trust us to do the heavy-lifting on your search for you, it may be time to find a new Realtor! Here’s a good example: if if you definitely don’t want a septic tank, you as a consumer may not have the ability to filter your search with this parameter. I can filter that way, and I also know the areas in Sarasota where this would be an issue. Consequently, by letting me run searches for you with your specific needs, I can narrow down your time investment and both of our frustration levels as every home you see will at least meet your minimum needs. ?
When we find the perfect home, we’ll review disclosures, HOA documents, and other possible deed restrictions before any negotiations happen. It is not unlike any other real estate purchase. Once a meeting of the minds is reached, the contract is signed electronically and an earnest money deposit is given. Immediately upon signing the contract, you have the “due diligence” time period. This is the amount of time, stated in the contract, that the buyer has to hold inspections and appraisals. You can decide, once these are complete, whether or not to go through with the purchase, in which case the earnest money can then be refunded. (Note: This may not apply if the home is a new construction.) This time period can also be used to allow me to take you to the property if you would like to see it in person.
In 2000, they created the E-Sign Act. Since then, advances in technology have made remote closings common for sellers and possible for buyers, though certain lenders still do not work with this process yet so be sure you check with your bank ahead of time. I’ll make sure you have all the pages of the contract and addendum sent to you electronically for an e-signature, which I’ll walk you through. Some title attorneys require video conference vitrification through a notary. Others may require a hard copy or “physical signature”, in such case they would mail you the documents for signature and you would mail them back. Funding, like with almost every other purchase, is then wired to complete the purchase.
The Remote Buying Bottom Line
In many ways, the process is the same as buying in person — providing you you have the right experienced Realtor on your side. Having a Realtor you trust to find the right property and one who understands your specifics needs and wants is pretty much the most important step when working remotely. I will work diligently on your behalf and in your stead to find the right property, guide you through paperwork, arrange and attend inspections, and ultimately attend the closing for you as well. But you can be the one to uncork the champagne!
If you are searching for a home remotely during this time, I have many tools at my disposal to make this process easier for you. Please reach out and let me guide you through this important process during an uncertain time. I’m here for you! firstname.lastname@example.org