With mortgage interest rates hitting record lows in the past couple of years, it is only natural that many first home buyers have entered the market.
Unfortunately, with the ongoing pandemic, people are reluctant to interact physically. And even when lockdowns and restrictions aren’t a problem, distance can make being in person for every step of the homebuying process inconvenient or even impossible.
The good news: thanks to the online resources and tools developed over the past few years, you can make a purchase as important and expensive as a home without leaving the safety of your house – by completing the whole process online.
What Does It Mean To Buy A House Online?
Buying a house online means you take advantage of the available online resources to complete each step in the homebuying process, from finding the right house to signing the deed to closing the purchase, everything is done virtually.
There is no requirement of physical interaction; virtual meetings handle it all for you. Zoom, FaceTime and other videoconferencing apps are of great help here.
While purchasing online can be more difficult than buying in person, here are some advantages that buying a house online will present:
- 1.You can look at all the available houses on the market before finalising which one you want to purchase.
- 2.You can expand the area of your search, especially if it is for investment purposes.
- 3.You can look for the house on your own time, as most online search sites are live 24/7.
- 4.Your real-estate agent and mortgage broker will do all the legwork for you.
Bonus: You will save paper, helping the environment.
Steps To Buying A House Completely Online
Step 1: Find An Experienced Real-Estate Agent
Your real-estate agent will work as your pair of eyes when you purchase a house completely online. They will take care of the home inspection, communicate with the seller, do the documentation, and make sure the house is exactly what you want to buy.
Find a real-estate agent who has experience working with online homebuyers or out-of-state clients. This will show they know what problems online buyers encounter from not being physically present and will be able to handle all the legwork alone. Ask for referrals from family and friends or hire an agent through popular local real-estate agent sites.
Step 2: Start By Searching For Property Online
Learn about the current market situation from property search sites before asking your real-estate agent for help. As agents have extensive knowledge about a location, they will suggest only houses that match your specific needs and preferences.
Use property search sites to look for a house that matches the loose description of your dream home. During the process, make a clear list of must-haves and do-not-wants. Take your time to search for properties in different areas and narrow the list down to two or three homes.
Step 3: Ask For A Virtual House Tour
A tour of your future house is likely the most exciting part of the homebuying process. Buying a house online might make you feel like you are not getting some of the look and feel of the house, but you don’t have to miss out completely.
Ask your real-estate agent to give you a virtual tour of the house on video calls. It will give you a much better idea about the property than just looking at pictures and you can express any concerns you have in real time.
If available, embrace high-tech options such as 3D tours or apps that allow you to place furniture and interior decorations in the space to get a better idea of what it would feel like to live there.
Step 4: Find The Best Mortgage Rates For Your Loan
Most lenders are available online and can complete all the work virtually, fitting right into the online homebuying process. But given that shopping for a mortgage can be just as time-consuming as looking for a house, it is best to get prepped in advance.Compare mortgages online and ask for assistance, which is usually free. Get a pre-approval to be sure you are ready to buy when your dream house becomes available.
There are numerous mortgage lenders available, but each will have a different lending criteria and their offers will vary based on the strength of your application and other factors.
Step 5: Digital ‘Paperwork’
While documentation still remains an integral part of buying a home, most sellers and lenders now accept digital documents, making it easier for both parties. There are many brokers that offer online mortgage application services, where you communicate entirely on the phone or through chats and emails.
While selecting the real-estate agent or mortgage broker, make sure to find one that offers all services or applications online. Keep a scanner or mobile scanning app at hand so you can send the required documents when asked and speed up the process.
Step 6: Prepare To Settle Virtually
After you have reached an agreement with your seller to purchase the house, it is time to prepare for settlement. You can expect valuation of the property, a loan approval and a home inspection. A valuation will help determine the market value of the house and the home inspection will reveal the current state of the property.
Stay involved in the process through constant communication. Ask your agent for the home inspection results via email and read them carefully before settlement. The real-estate agent will assist you throughout the process, according to the terms of the seller.
Use secure portals when signing and notarising documents online.
Work With Real-Estate Agents And Mortgage Brokers
With the right real-estate agent and mortgage broker by your side, buying a home online is not just a dream. Speak to our mortgage brokers, who can help you get approval for the most suitable loan from our diverse panel of lenders, all in a specialised online process.
Call us at 1300 889 743 or fill out this free enquiry form to get started!