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Buying a home sight unseen!

Real Estate Agent with REMAX

One of my best stories (in the short time I've been a realtor) is helping a woman named Kathy Sheridan buy a home. She used to live in the Chicago area and had retired in Florida but decided to come back up here. Her home was on the market in Florida and she came up to Chicago to visit friends and figured she would go out to look at homes for fun and to see what the market was like. I took her out to look at 10 houses and felt very comfortable in knowing her tastes. She knew the market was tough in Florida and thought she would have plenty of time to find a home.

Well, she goes back to Florida and calls me 3 days later and tells me her house just got sold and she couldn't come back up so soon to look again. So, I kicked it into high gear and plowed through the MLS. I found a house I knew she would love and emailed it to her. She liked it but wanted more photos. So I grabbed my camera and in major tornado warnings, drove to the house and took about 50 photos. I emailed them to her and she loved the house and made an offer that night via fax.  She saw it the morning of her closing and loved it. She emails me frequently to tell me how much she loves the house. Very cool to sell a house sight unseen!

Mary Bowen
Coldwell Banker United, Realtor - The Woodlands, TX
Real Estate At Its Finest!!!
How scary!! You are a brave woman.  I would have been extremely nervous.
Jan 13, 2008 01:43 PM
Jim Albano
Prudential Damiano Realty - Little Falls, NJ
Team - Jean-Marie Vantuno / Realtors North Jersey Real Estate
Wow, that's a great story and one transaction that you'll never forget. You must've taken some really great pictures!
Jan 13, 2008 01:44 PM
Carol Spengel
Prudential Rubloff - Wheaton, IL
Wheaton IL
Amazing!  I had a wife see a house without her husband and he signed the papers sight unseen.  I can't imagine doing that.
Jan 13, 2008 01:49 PM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
Tornado warning photos? Now that's dedication. And I know how many people retire here, then eventually go back home to be near their families when they can no longer care for themselves or lose a spouse or just get home sick. We have a huge amount of retirees here. That makes up the majority of our clients.
Jan 13, 2008 01:51 PM
Ron Fuhrer
Nazareth,Easton, Bethlehem - Prudential Patt, White - Nazareth, PA
Lehigh Valley PA Homes
How fun~~ we have not done any of these recnetly, but several years back we had a deal like this in AZ where we sent someone a home tour and he bought the house unseen. Its a great story
Jan 13, 2008 01:54 PM
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker Associate ,CRS,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

HI La Nita,

Wow, that's an amazing job!

Years ago my business partner sold a HUD repo that was completely boarded up, the buyer wasn't able to get inside and bought it anyway  "sight-unseen" thinking it was 3 bedrooms. Upon closing (prior to walk-through times) it was discovered it only had 2. The buyer called saying "Hey Bobby, what happened to the other bedroom?"

The buyer was o.k. and said something like "oh well I'll just add another room"...can you even imagine something like that happening today?

Jan 13, 2008 01:55 PM
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

I did a rental like that last spring.  The woman was so appreciative of everything I did for her.  You definitely feel a certain sense of satisfaction and validation that your communication skills are second to none when you can find them the perfect home.

I am working with a gentleman in Washington and doing the same.  Going and taking photos and sending him floorplans of homes he is interested in.  We have already written a couple of low balls subject to interior inspection.  None were ever accepted though :( 

Jan 13, 2008 02:28 PM
Sandy Nelson
Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc. - Olympia, WA
your Olympia area Realtor

I've had military clients who have bought a home based only on photos and google earth images. It's a gutsy thing to do, but they also loved their house when they finally saw it. I also work with an out of state investor who lets me pick the properties she ends up buying.


Jan 14, 2008 01:50 AM