How do you buy a house in a pandemic? Oddly enough, it is just about the same process of home buying remotely.
All of the technology involved in the process of home buying remotely is now commonplace for buying a house during these strange times.
Much of the technology used was already in use before the pandemic began, and now it all has become standard in any home buyer’s virtual toolbox. If you are interested in buying a house now, you couldn’t have picked a better time because technology makes the entire process of home buying so easy and convenient.
From searching for the perfect house to closing on a mortgage loan virtually, you can do it all from your bed or the kitchen table. Here’s how.
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Searches for Specific Homes
This process of home buyingbegins like all others; with a search. The good news is that there are lots of apps and websites that can help. If a buyer doesn’t want to spend countless hours searching, the real estate agent hired by the buyer can do the searching across these sites and apps.
When one or more houses are found that fit the buyer’s criteria for the perfect house, the buyer moves to the next step (or the real estate agent sends the buyer links to possible houses). The buyer can check out the possible homes and then look for the links on the page to tour the homes virtually.
3D Virtual Tours
Something that has really taken front stage right now in the real estate world are three-dimensional tours via cameras installed in a home. The cameras are only installed in empty homes and homes where the owners have given permission for the cameras to be installed and used at specific times.
If you are a real estate agent, this allows you to show a home without being physically present or putting your own health and safety at risk.
For a buyer, it allows them to view a home that interests them safely from their current residence at different times of the day or night. This is especially useful in areas where the weather makes travel difficult or inconvenient.
For example, if you live in New England, and want to search for a home in January, the cold weather makes it inconvenient to drive. Conversely, residents of Scottsdale’s process of home buying in July would much rather look at a 3D Virtual Tour instead of getting in a scorching-hot car.
During virtual open houses, the cameras are on during the entire open house time/day, and buyers can schedule a time to tour the home virtually during the open house event.
Everyone remains safe while still showing or viewing a home. This technology has been in use for over twenty years for people to view things like famous museums and castle tours, but has only recently been at the forefront of real estate sales.
Online Mortgage Approvals
In the last five years, more and more home buyers have searched for mortgages online. The application process is often quick and easy, too. You can apply any time day or night and find the mortgage loan that’s right for you.
However, what has recently made this process even better is the signing process. Before, a borrower would have to go to the bank during business hours to finalize and sign the mortgage papers. Now signing the paperwork can happen virtually too, and it is handled in a very safe and ultra-secure way.
Signing Documents Remotely
A new and very secure software program used by banks and financial groups helps borrowers and consumers stay safely at home while signing important documents. The software used by lenders, investment firms, insurance agencies, and brokers is called Docu-Sign. Docu-Sign can be used at any point or all points in the process of buying real estate.
Just to give you some ideas on how this remote signing software can do:
- Signing documents for a mortgage loan
- Signing bids on a house a buyer wants
- Signing closing documents on a house via a virtual closing meeting
- Sign a title/deed over to a buyer
- For a real estate agent or real estate attorney as witness to the sale of a property
- Sign the homeowner’s insurance and PMI insurance papers
If there are any other documents related to buying real estate that either the buyer or real estate agent would normally sign in person, now this software can be used to securely sign all of those documents too.
Customizations, Architectural Design, and Interior Design Software
Along with all of the above, both real estate agents and buyers can utilize other software tools to help visualize the perfect home. This includes customization software for modular homes, architectural design software to re-imagine what a remodel on an existing home might look like, and interior design software to help visualize how different a space might look once it’s been redecorated to a buyer’s personal tastes.
These software programs can help the real estate agent show a home in a way that is more appealing to more buyers. It can also help buyers see how much potential a home has if they feel that a home isn’t exactly what they were looking for.
Built-in and Included Security Systems to See the Whole Property
Certain security systems can be tapped to allow buyers to see the whole property remotely. This is an especially useful selling point because the buyers can see the land and any detached buildings on the property from the views of these cameras. Additionally, knowing that the property comes with an included security system is something a lot of buyers are looking for right now.
These cameras are often connected to a home’s smart system. The entire smart system may also include smart door locks, smart thermostats, smart lights and smart audio. Such features are considered luxurious, but very desirable.
Having the security system part of the smart home system is what allows real estate agencies to tap into the visual feeds of these cameras and log out of the system when viewing times are disallowed or not offered. Buyers will need to make an inquiry in how to see the outside property and buildings with outdoor cameras.
Thanks to technology, the home-selling and process of home buying is now both easier and safer. By utilizing even just a few of these tools while buying or selling a home, you can avoid wasting paper, in-person meetings, and trips across town!