The ongoing global pandemic has changed the way people sell their houses. Not long ago, you’ll find home sellers baking cookies and other sweet treats before a showing. Today, prospective homebuyers will receive a pair of gloves. Sellers will keep the lights on and the doors open so that guests won’t have to touch anything during the tour.
Some sellers take safety a step further by not inviting anyone to visit their property. Instead, they offer virtual tours on well-known apps, such as FaceTime. Business Insider reported that virtual house tours would become the new normal for home selling.
If you’re going to buy a house during the pandemic, you might come across sellers who prefer virtual tours over in-person visits. Going through the home purchasing process virtually, however, has some risks. Some house problems, for instance, might not look obvious through a screen.
Before you get a mortgage to buy your first home, you should make sure that the house you’ll purchase is in good condition and matches your needs. This means checking the property closely for issues. Here are seven things to keep in mind when checking out a house virtually:
1. Analyze the Pictures Provided by the Home Seller
Some home sellers work closely with experienced and skilled real estate photographers to take pictures of their listings. This is highly beneficial to prospective buyers, as photographers know exactly how to showcase the various areas of the property.
When looking at the photos, check the rooms. Think about what they’ll look like when they receive natural light coming from the windows.
Don’t forget to check the living room. If the area doesn’t have furniture, take into account the items you can place and how you could arrange them to suit your style.
2. Ask for 3D and 360-Degree Tours
The seller should also offer 3D and 360-degree tours. Simply showing pictures is great, but this isn’t enough.
These two forms of virtual tours give you a feel of what the home would look like if you were there. They also give you the freedom to navigate through the property virtually. Take this opportunity to see if the structure and details inside the house fit your needs and lifestyle.
3. Closely Inspect the Floors
When you’re doing an online tour, zoom in on the floor. You’ll know that something’s up with the plumbing if you see dipping or sagging. It’s an indication that the plumbers worked on the pipes underneath the flooring. Make sure you raise this concern with the homeowner.
If you find sagging or dipping in other areas of the house, it could indicate a structural problem.
4. Check for Fresh Paint Spots
The next you should check are the walls. If you come across a paint job, don’t worry about that too much, as it’s an easy fix. You should, however, be concerned about the fresh paint spots that look completely out of place.
Unusual paint spots can mean two things: the house seller has fixed something or is trying to conceal a problem. The property owner might have used paint to hide the location of termite damage. When you find unusual paint spots, take a screenshot of that and ask about this paintwork.
5. Look for Cracks
Apart from paint, check for cracks. Although minor cracks on the drywall are okay, large fractures are a red flag. You’ll want to avoid a house if you come across huge cracks or ones with discoloration. This might indicate leaks or problems with the building’s structural integrity.
6. Inspect the Windows
An old window isn’t a problem. A damaged or worn window, however, is a different story. Faulty windows can drive up heating or cooling costs if you don’t replace them. When checking, look for red flags, such as excessive window condensation and decay on the window frame.
7. Check for Trees Outside
You should also look at the outside of the home. Although there’s nothing with having flowers and tiny plants, you should think twice about homes with trees on the property. Trees near a house can bring all sorts of risks. They could, for instance, fall during a storm or catch fire. What’s more, their leaves could clog the gutter.
If you’re planning to buy a property with trees on them, be aware of the risks. Taking down large trees can get expensive, especially if the property is in an urban setting.
Keep in mind these seven tips when viewing a house on the web. Don’t hesitate to contact the seller if you have concerns or queries about the property for sale. You should obtain every bit of information you need to come up with a well-informed decision.