If you've purchased a home in the past, chances are you did so through an in-person buying process. You visited the actual property, made an offer, had an inspection done and then finalized everything by filling out a bunch of paper forms at a designated site during the closing process.
Alternatively, you might have done some or all of these tasks virtually, especially if you began your home search during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as many sectors of the U.S. economy were hard-hit by the virus, home sales rebounded relatively quickly, and the availability of convenient virtual homebuying services may have boosted this trend.
Redfin reported that sales of new construction homes exceed pre-coronavirus levels in July 2020. The National Association of Realtors also reported that the 24.7% surge in overall home sales from June to July was the biggest on record since 1968. With many buyers scaling back their in-person activities, virtual homebuying has become a pivotal fallback option.
Virtual homebuying services typically include the following components:
A real estate agent connects with you via a video conferencing platform like Zoom or FaceTime to discuss the process and then gives you a full showing of the property. A virtual open house is a great way to see lots of homes without leaving yours, but make sure to dress appropriately and try out your video setup beforehand.
Traditional home inspections often involve the prospective buyer touring the property to hear about any issues the inspector has identified. In a virtual process, a detailed report fills the same role. The inspector includes descriptions, photos and videos of the home, describing and showing what they found during the inspection. Similarly, you'll get to see the results of the appraisal process without any person-to-person contact.
Sitting in an office or conference room with a lot of other people for a long period of time, as in the conventional home closing process, is not ideal in light of ongoing public health risks. An online closing process eliminates these issues while letting you conveniently fill out all forms from the comfort of your home. SNAP E-CLOSE from The Federal Savings Bank lets you:
First and foremost, virtual homebuying lets you reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 or any other illness due to contact with other people.
But its benefits extend beyond that, setting virtual homebuying up to be serious competition for in-person buying going forward. Virtual homebuying is: