In a pandemic, buying a home online is accelerating


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Their budget is in the range of $ 1 million, with an additional cushion built into construction costs. They plan to complete the entire purchasing process from California and are not even sure if they would fly away for a final check. “Personally, I’m really worried about the options and what that means for air travel now,” Mrs. Anderson said. “We are ready to do everything remotely, including closing from here and all construction work.”

Intermediaries, who saw most of their open days closed during the pandemic, also quickly adapted to technology, many of which offer virtual tours and include tools such as TikTok and Instagram to help them sell their homes.

However, other brokers recommend a great deal of caution before entering the online market.

“For the first time, it’s all so overwhelming and hard to understand how this process works at all.” And now you are required to compete at a very high level, ”said Michelle Kolker, a San Diego broker at Kolker Real Estate Group. She added that first-time buyers, especially those shopping online, may not have been aware of, for example, the need for inspections or the benefits of setting a timeline in which the seller will make agreed repairs.

Zillow, which reports that traffic on its sales lists jumped 41 percent in 2020, found in a July 2020 survey that 36 percent of Americans were more likely to buy a home online. Jeremy Wacksman, president of Zillow, says the company plans to update the survey next month. Meanwhile, traffic to Zillow’s online toolkit, which includes the ability to create 3-D home tours on a smartphone, as well as technology that enables remote signing and remote notarization, points to those numbers that remain stable.

“We saw an explosion,” he said, adding that in the first months of the pandemic, the creation of a 3-D home tour was zillow.com increased by 750 percent. DotLoop, a remote signing and notary service acquired by Zillow in 2015, is one of the largest pandemic sleepers.

“It was a technology that was available but barely used because the existing process worked, but now all of a sudden, if you avoided meeting, you figured out a way to sign remotely,” he said.

Not all first-time customers are in love with the idea of ​​buying invisible goods. But even for those who prefer vision to buying, new technologies make the mortgage process much more efficient.


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