Buy a Home Sight Unseen? More Common Then You Think

Buy a Home Sight Unseen? More Common Then You Think

The competitive nature of many US housing markets is driving buyers to make some snap decisions.

That includes bidding on homes before they’ve even had a chance to view them in person according to a new survey of more than 1,000 recent homebuyers by Redfin.

It found that 35% of those who bought a home in the last 12 months made a bid without seeing their intended new home in person; up from 33% a year ago. In 2016, just 19% of buyers did this.

Among young buyers, sight unseen is even more prolific with 45% making a potentially risky move.

This could be, Redfin suggests, because Millennials are more trusting of the information they find online about homes, neighborhoods, and the homebuying process.

Conversely, older buyers may be more likely to rely on their experience and have a desire to ‘kick the tires’ of homes.

Buyers in these markets most likely to risk ‘sight unseen’
Buyers in Los Angeles are the most likely to bid without a viewing in person (57%) but this may be due to a high proportion of investors in the market.

Those in Dallas/Fort Worth real estate markets are among the least likely to buy before they visit a home.

Metro Area

Portion of Successful Buyers
Who Said They Made an Offer
on a Home They Hadn't Seen in
Person

 
 

Los Angeles

57%

 

San Diego

46%

 

San Francisco

44%

 

Chicago

38%

 

Austin

35%

 

Denver

33%

 

Washington, D.C.

32%

 

Phoenix

31%

 

Portland

30%

 

Sacramento

30%

 

Baltimore

28%

 

Dallas

27%

 

Boston

25%

 

Seattle

19%

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