You list your home for sale and a few days later, you’ve got an offer, but no one viewed it. You would have known if they did because the dog has to be taken out, your agent assured you viewings would be by appointment only, and the open house isn’t scheduled for another few days.
It sounds like something out of a fantasy, doesn’t it? While it’s not the most common method for selling a home, it’s not impossible. In 2015, surveys showed that 20 percent of homes were bought sight-unseen, and in 2017, it’s jumped to one in three buyers, according to Inman.
How did this happen, and is it a legitimate offer?
High-quality professional photography that shows off the best of your home isn’t a fluke. It costs more money than using your iPhone or hiring your nephew to do it, but great photography catches a person’s eye. If it’s enough to help people decide if they want to view your home, it makes sense that, for some people, it helps them make up their mind to buy, too.
Add in videos that give a 360-degree view, Google Maps that show the street view of your neighborhood, and even virtual reality viewings, and it proves that the right images can help someone make up their mind. In order for the deal to close, the photographs have to back up the reality of the home, though. Otherwise, lost money, lost deals, and hard feelings will be all you’re left with, instead of a sold home.
People move into the Naples areafrom across the country. Sometimes they have complicated job or family situations that force them to buy a new home from miles away. They need a house, and they don’t have time to come look at it. How did they find your home in the first place?
Thank good marketing for that. When an agent knows how to make sure your listing is found no matter where a buyer is looking, the chances of offers from outside of Naples go up dramatically. It’s not enough to put a sign in the yard or even be listed in the local MLS (as important as those two things are). Sellers from anywhere in the country should be able to find your listing online. Combine that with beautiful images, and the chances of receiving an offer go up tremendously.
When inventory shrinks, competition among desirable homes in good neighborhoods increases. Sometimes a buyer is desperate to live on that street or have a home with specific features. If the photos look good, the disclosures are all there, and they put in the right contingencies to their offer, an eager buyer might put in an offer without viewing the property first.
No matter how tight the inventory, if your home doesn’t match the description, the photos, or the marketing, the deal with likely fall apart. You can’t rely on low inventory for sight unseen offers, but when priced right and in the right location, low inventory can contribute to better offers.
The reality is that not every home will sell without the buyer viewing it first. It’s also important for you, as a seller, to negotiate the contract in a way that works for you. While buyers who put in offers because of what they see on the internet are more common, there are risks to sellers in the process. A buyer may decide to walk away or may not even have a real offer. It’s important to work with an agent who knows how to vet offers and negotiate with buyer agents to make sure that no matter how the offer comes in, it’s a good deal for you as a seller.
Could your home sell to a buyer from a few states away? Absolutely, just like it might sell to someone who lives a few miles away. The things that bring in sight-unseen offers are the same things that bring in local offers – good photography and marketing, great presentation, and the right price. If you’ve got all that, you’ll receive offers from eager buyers both local and faraway.
Are you ready to sell your home? I’m here to help you. Let’s talk!