Deb's Lake Conroe Real Estate & Stuff! : Virtual Home Sales - Virtual Hot House?

Virtual Home Sales - Virtual Hot House?

As if the liability with our business isn't already steep enough when you have a hands-on we're going virtual?

Yep, it's happening. thinkingabout01.gif Thinking about you image by crazy4frodo

We are selling houses without the buyer seeing them till after closing. Who would've thunk it? The wonders of our far reaching virtual world is becoming compelling enough for buyers to send the earnest money check without ever entering the home they are purchasing.

To date, I have now completed two sales (out of five virtual offers) where the buyer has not seen the home till after closing. This is a scary situation.

And, it must be laden with liability. We send all the information, pictures, videos, history and disclosures, information about the neighborhood and schools.

But, we can compare this to reading a great novel. The words create a movie in our minds and we set our own stage. They are the same words to each individual but the perceived "movie" in their minds can be totally different.

So, what if they walk in and say, "this isn't what I pictured." "uh, Ahem."

This is a new aspect of our business that we must explore and somehow protect ourselves from "perceived value" or lack thereof. It could be better than expected but what if it's worse???

This is a "virtual hot house" for complications. Any ideas? Are you selling houses off your web site?


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Comment balloon 9 commentsDeb Brooks • November 21 2008 11:47AM


BTW, I got two virtual offers on one house...but every person I showed it to turned it down...hum.

Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) over 10 years ago

I have a closing coming up on a Virtual sale. I went through and video the neighborhood and the home. The outside and inside. The buyers just loved it and put in an offer.

So its possible, but I see where you are getting at.

Posted by Jeannette Neerpat, e-Pro Coral Springs/Parkland Real Estate ( over 10 years ago

Crazy.  I would be way to nervous to represent the buyer on a virtual sale.  Does that mean that they just look at the virtual tour and decide from that?  I couldn't imagine.  Maybe I am just old fashioned....:o)

Posted by Cristal Drake, Realtor - Fullerton Real Estate (Prudential California Realty) over 10 years ago

Cristal, that's what it means! I have been nervous also. I can't imagine buying a house without ever even being in the town its in...or in the house...or the neighborhood. But people are doing it.

Jeannette, way to go. Just have them sign a bunch of disclaimers.

Later in the rain~Deb

Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) over 10 years ago

Deb, I closed on one this summer.  Family was relocating to one of the military bases here in S.A. from Germany.  They didn't want to wait until they got here to find a house and then wait 30 days for closing.  They decided on this one house, I previewed it for them along with a friend of their's who lives here in S.A., I sent a hundred pictures -- their friend went over the house with a "fine tooth comb" and told them, if he was in the market to buy a house, he'd buy that one.  We wrote an offer, negotiated it with a clause saying they had 3 days to tour the home once they were in San Antonio to terminate the contract.  They arrived, we met at the house, they loved it, we closed early and I was there a couple of weeks ago visiting and getting the grand tour of their "redecorating" the house. 

This was the first time I'd had a deal like this and I was very very nervous.  Apparently, it's fairly common here in S.A. because of the military families.  In fact, my new next door neighbor did the same thing this summer -- bought the house before they saw it -- they were relocating to S.A. from Korea and wanted to be able to move right in.  They're very happy with their decision.

Posted by Judi Morgan, San Antonio, TX Real Estate (RETIRED) over 10 years ago

Deb, You make a very good point.  I like the clause that Judi added. Do the buyers have a home inspection done? I have never done a transaction like this but I look forward to more information on the subject.

Posted by Lisa Glowacki, Real Estate Broker - RI & MA (Lisa Glowacki - Rhode Island & Massachusetts) over 10 years ago


You are so right, it is something that the industry needs to think about as it will become more popular as technology advances.  I think a buyer would be wise to have someone view the house for them a friend or relative, at the least.  Maybe with an investor, it's not as crucial as for the buyer who will be residing in the house.  The look, feel and function of a house are different virtually than "in brick and mortar" presence.

Posted by Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant (Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision) over 10 years ago

Okay - Sorry - I have done it.  I have a post about it too, so, NO i am not advertising on your post.  My first time......  It was an absolute trip and I don't know that I could do it again unless I was SURE i had the same relationship that I had with this buyer.

Posted by Leesa Finley, RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate (RED Properties) over 10 years ago

Deb- Living and working here in South Florida we have been selling houses and condos sight unseen for years, even when there were no virtual tours, no internet, just mls books! We would have to go and take a ton of photos, get then developed , and then glue them together so they could see the order of the floor plan and then send them through snail mail.

We also get a lot that are subject to inspection and then they have a relative stop by to look at the house. You have to have buyers sign disclosures that they know that you can only provide the overview and get lots of liability releases.

Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) over 10 years ago