Buying sight unseen can get you ahead in the game | Ralph Lauren

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Buying a property without seeing it first may seem like a daunting notion, but there are ways to navigate the process effectively with no hiccups.

Harcourts Applecross Principal Eric Hartanto said this type of purchase predominately occurred because the buyer did not want to miss out.

“Another reason is because many investors just go with the data provided to them, as long as the numbers stack up,” he said.

“It is quite common in a high-demand or seller’s market, or in sought-after suburbs.”

Mr Hartanto said the disadvantage of purchasing a property this way was that you would not be able to inspect it physically.

“However, this might be mitigated by constant communication with the agent, sending a relative or a trustworthy friend to inspect, or engaging a building inspection company to perform a thorough building inspection,” he said.

On the other hand, there are advantages to purchasing a property this way, allowing you to get ahead of the pack.

“The main advantage is speed. You are able to put your offer in front of the seller as soon as practically possible, thus minimising competition from other buyers and securing the property ahead of others,” Mr Hartanto said.

If you are concerned about purchasing a property using this method, your mind will be put at ease knowing that neither method is better than the other, according to Mr Hartanto.

It is also good to know that technology allows for the next closest thing to a physical inspection – consider virtual walkthroughs and video calls for example.

“I think agents should be flexible and tailor their communication and strategy to suit the buyer’s situation,” Mr Hartanto said.

“The procedure is pretty much similar with normal purchases. The offer documents can be digitally signed to accommodate the buyer.”

Learning about the property as much as you can – its current state and what it could be subject to – are some steps you can take to ensure you are best placed to purchase a property without seeing it beforehand.

“As a buyer, you should communicate as much as you can with the real estate agent. Ask questions, do video calls, ask for a copy of the title, building plans and any other relevant documents of the property,” Mr Hartanto said.

“Engage a building inspection company to perform a thorough pre-purchase building inspection before writing up an offer.

“Call the local council and check for any future zoning changes or if there are any planned major works in the area.”

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