4 Tips for People Buying a Home Without Seeing It In-Person

4 tips for homebuyers who want to buy sight unseen

While watching a new movie on Netflix this weekend, I was struck by how different COVID-19 has altered our behavior. Shots of long airport lines and crammed buses seemed out of place in today's virus-conscious culture. Things have changed.

Some of these changes are likely to result in new real estate trends, such as how homes are marketed. The days of merely posting 20 photos and waiting for a sales contract may be over. Buyers are going to be demanding more content from listing agents from here on out.

Buying a home sight unseen is a service that more consumers are d. I work with military and out-of-State buyers regularly who need to purchase a home without physically being here. The new technology used on listings is making it much easier to do this.

If you're moving to Colorado Springs and you need to buy a home sight unseen, here are four tips to help you navigate the process.


Zillow recently stated that their 3D home tours had grown by 600% during the COVID-19 outbreak. Check out the chart below from their website.

Since the need to see a home without physically being there in-person has grown, so has the use of 3D Tour technology. 3D tours are the next best way to experience a home if you can't be there in person. It's much better than a virtual tour, which is simply a slideshow of the photos, or even a video tour; because you can control the experience.

There are many different types of 3D Home Tours. Some of them use HDR imaging and are exceptionally detailed. Others use cell phone photos and stitch them together with software and may be less detailed.

If you're planning to buy a home sight unseen, I recommend requesting a Matterport 3D Tour of the home that you are buying. Many real estate photographers offer this service for around $100 to $300.

Since Matterport cameras are so easy to use, they have become the most popular 3D Tour cameras. I prefer Realvision or iGuide because they have better quality, but Matterport is the most popular.

Here's an example of a 3D tour. As a homebuyer, this technology makes buying a home much more relaxed.

A 3D Tour will reveal every aspect of the home and help eliminate surprises after closing. It's a powerful technology that is assisting agents to market homes with complete visual transparency. If you're buying a home sight unseen, I recommend requesting a 3D tour to help you know whether it is the right property, or not.


Hiring a home inspector is a significant part of the home buying process. That's not news, but do you know how many types of inspections there are?

Here are just a few of them:

Common Types of Home Inspections

Different parts of the country demand different types of testing. You probably wouldn't pay for a soil sample in an area that has never had soil problems. If you buy a home on the front range of the Rocky Mountains, you may want one.

An excellent Realtor will help you navigate the different options for testing a sight-unseen home. I recommend taking their advice and purchasing as many types of inspections as you need to know the property that you are buying honestly.

Don't go cheap on inspections. The cost of an inspection is pennies compared to the price of a home. You only have one shot at doing your due diligence before buying that home. Take your time and get it right the first time to prevent future headaches.


What you see online versus in-person can be surprising. It may seem like all the information you need on the home and neighborhood will be online. This is not the case, though.

A Realtors Local Experience Truly MattersExperienced Realtors who work in specific areas will have years worth of information that you won't find online. Having the right agent on your side can alleviate all kinds of problems.

Different parts of town have different characteristics. Some areas may have parks and restaurants, while others may be newly developed and have a lack of shopping options. It's true that you can visit several regions via Google Maps, but you won't find future development plans there, among many other essential pieces of information.

Make sure to hire an agent who has worked in your area of interest for many years. They'll listen to your needs and make sure you buy in an area that is right for you.


The layout of a home is fundamental. For example, having a dining room attached to a kitchen versus on the other side of the house can change things.

Example of House FloorplanHaving a printed floor plan can reveal what the day-to-day activities in a home might look like. A bedroom's proximity to the laundry room or the distance from your car to the refrigerator is all available on floor plans. Also, room sizes are typically on floor plans and are very helpful, knowing how your furniture will fit.

There are easy ways to generate a floor plan. Most 3D Tour technology does this automatically. Home Depot also offers a service to measure and create a floor plan for a fee.

If you can get your hands on a floor plan of the home that you're interested in, it will help you understand the house better. The more info you have, the fewer surprises you're likely to experience.

Final Thoughts

As technology makes the home buying process more transparent, sight unseen home purchases are bound to increase. Realtors who have been using these technologies for years have systems set up to ensure a smooth home buying process. This makes buying a home sight unseen less risky, as agents know exactly what to expect based on their experience.

Take your time and follow the tips above for a safe sight unseen home purchase. Lean heavily on your Realtor's guidance to ensure that you have all of the info that you need to buy, sight unseen, with no problems.

4 tips for homebuyers who want to buy sight unseen

Andrew Fortune

Hi! I'm Andrew Fortune, the founder of Great Colorado Homes and the creator of much of the content on this website. Thanks for taking the time to read this article. Please feel free to share this article with someone who might benefit from it. I appreciate your time here on this site and am always open to suggestions and ideas from our readers.

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