At first, the thought of buying a home without having taken a tour to see it in person might seem like an odd choice. When it comes down to it, though, there are actually a few different scenarios in which making an offer on a home that you haven’t toured might seem like a good idea. You might be buying a home in a new part of the country that you’re currently not in and hope to have the property secured before you move, or it might be a home that’s getting a lot of attention and you want to get an offer in quickly. You might even be considering skipping the tour due to lingering concerns about the pandemic, or for other equally valid reasons.
While there are definitely good reasons to skip out on a tour, doing so can be a bad idea, maybe not even for the reasons that you think. Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons that you should avoid skipping a home tour, as well as some options if you don’t want to (or can’t) tour the property in person yourself.
Why You Should Take the Tour
One of the most obvious reasons to take a home tour is so that you can ask questions about parts of the home that might not be covered in its online profile. Signs of leaks or water damage might not be highlighted in photos, and other indicators of past damage are easy to overlook if you don’t see them in person. By identifying them during a tour, you can find out if repairs have been made or if there are other surprises waiting for you after the purchase.
That’s not the only reason that you’ll want to go on a tour yourself, though. By touring a home, you can get a better feel for how the house will actually fit in with your lifestyle and your personal tastes. It can help you to identify all the little things in the home that you’ll love that the photos might have missed, as well as those parts of the house that you’re probably going to want to have some work done to fix up or remove. Touring a home before making an offer gives you a better idea of how much work you’ll need to put into the house to get it to be exactly the home that you want.
Virtual and Proxy Tours
There are a few options available when you can’t be there in person to take the tour. An increasingly popular option is the virtual tour, which can be either prerecorded or live depending on who’s listing the home. Live virtual tours are a much better option when they’re available, since with a live tour you have the Realtor (and sometimes even the sellers) there walking you through the property with a video feed and answering any questions that you might have in real time.
Another option that might be available to you is a proxy tour. In this case, someone you know (or at least, someone acting as your representative) goes through an in-person tour and asks questions that you’ve prepared ahead of time. They may also take pictures or video for you, highlighting potential problems or points of interest to make sure that you’re aware of them. While this isn’t as good of an option as a virtual tour that you take part in directly, a proxy tour is still better than no tour at all.