Purchasing A Home Remotely

Purchasing A Home Remotely

Purchasing a home remotely has become increasingly common these days. Sellers have long been able to pre-sign their paperwork and skip the closing table, and now the entire process can be completed remotely allowing buyers the same opportunity. This is especially useful for PCS homebuyers as they may be out of the country, or enroute to their new home when the closing is scheduled. A critical part of this process is your REALTOR®. Selecting an agent that is experienced in remote sales is key. The agent will attend the closing in person, even if you have signed your documents through electronic signature. 

Why Buy Remotely | Most remote purchasers are from out of state (or country), and have jobs or other obligations that prevent them from spending in-person time for the home buying process. Parents who are purchasing a home for an adult child may wish to buy remotely because they do not need to see the home, and most times are making an all-cash purchase. Real estate investors often purchase remotely because it is a time-saving option. There are certain steps that you should take to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. 

Find The Right REALTOR® | In a remote transaction, you will depend on your real estate agent to handle nearly all of the process. It is critical to find an agent experienced with remote transactions who is also a good fit for you. A personality match is important to find, so try to have a video interview, and ask for references!

Talk About Experience | Experience matters, and REALTORS® who work with remote buyers often are more likely to understand how the process works. They can find suitable properties for your consideration, and negotiate favorably. The agent should also be able to advise on a local lender because a local appraiser is critically important to the process. During your interview process, the agent should be able to talk extensively about their contacts and connections, past transactions, and how they worked through the process. Experience with military buyers is beneficial as well. 

Ask About Availability | The REALTOR® that you select should be a full-time agent. They will be serving as your proxy, so they will need to be available during standard working hours to handle a variety of tasks. They will be handling appraisals, inspections, and even possibly repairs that need to be completed before closing. Also, discuss being available to communicate with you if you are not in the same time zone! 

Communicate Your Wish List | Once you have selected your REALTOR®, share your wish list with them so they can begin to search for your ideal home. Refine your list, but remember that the more items on it, the slower the search will go. It may be a good idea to include your ‘deal breakers’ or rank your wishes by priority. Things that really matter include location, size, and housing type. As a buyer, you will need to trust your agent. They know what you are looking for and may say ‘no’ to a home you think looks great (online). They should be able to let you know quickly why it should not be considered in relation to your wish list. 

Get Ready To Close! | The e-Sign Act of 2000 renders your electronic signature just as valid as if you signed the documents in person. And, technology has improved tenfold since then! You most likely will receive the documents and addenda from your REALTOR®. You will sign using an electronic-signature system that then sends the signed documents to the appropriate party. 

The bottom line is that this is a great resource and solution for many PCS moves where it would be difficult to be in the physical location of the closing at the appointed time. You will be relying on your REALTOR® to make this work. We can assist you in finding the right agent, with experience with military homebuyers and remote closings. Contact us today.

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