Investing in a Property Sight Unseen: What You Need To Know - Article Banner

Businesses across nearly every industry adopted technology that allowed them to work remotely. The real estate industry is no exception. Investing in a property without physically being there to see it is possible and even easier now than it was before.

It all began with detailed pictures with captions. From there, the process evolved into 360° video tours featuring a property. While this technology has been around for decades, the pandemic only fast-tracked its development.

Remote investing may seem like an ideal solution for anyone living in the fast lane. Perhaps your schedule doesn’t allow you to see the property before closing the deal. Although it’s understandable, investing in property unseen carries some risks.

Essentially, you’ll have no first-hand account of the property’s actual condition. You may realize later that you need to bring it up to code or that the video tour didn’t include the backyard. After all, sellers will put the property’s best assets forward.

You’ll need someone to do the seeing for you. With someone on your side who understands the locality of the property that you’re interested in buying, you can confidently proceed with the remote real estate transaction. Here’s a closer look at what you need to know when buying an unseen property.

Take Multiple Virtual Tours of the Property You Want

If you plan to invest in a property, be sure to take its virtual tour more than once. Regardless of how thorough the first one might have seemed, you still were not there to see it for yourself. You’re likely to miss out on specific details that would have otherwise influenced your final decision.

For example, the tour might have briefly mentioned a history of leaking in a certain room. Then, it proceeded to the next part of the tour. If you were taking a live tour of the house in person, you could have inspected that room for signs of any mold or water damage. You wouldn’t have seen any of that if you took a virtual tour.

You can replay recorded tours as much as you want to study the property. However, the video quality may be limiting. It will all depend on how much of the property the seller is willing to share in their video. Consider getting a professional partner to visit the property on your behalf when the seller is hosting an open house.

This way, you can get them on the line while they walk through the property. They can check if the faucets work. You can also have them take videos for you, focusing on the areas that you may be worried about. For example, you can ask your representative to assess how even the floors are because you might have guessed from a lopsided frame from the virtual tour.

Get a Comprehensive Property Walk Through

Property walk throughs are important regardless of whether you’re investing in an unseen property or in person. Some sellers may accept your offer quickly if you waive the walk through step, which might make sense from a competitive angle. However, these are critical when you have no plans of visiting the property anytime soon.

Since you have never seen the property for yourself, you will need a professional to identify any potential problems that the seller might have left out when hosting virtual tours. Through your walk through, you can determine whether the property you are looking to buy is safe for potential tenants, which will be important if you plan to lease this investment property.

When it comes to leasing, you will also need to confirm that the property is up to code. If it’s not, then you may be responsible for any upgrades that need to happen. For example, your property surveyor may discover that the property you plan to buy has an outdated electrical system. You can proceed with your purchase if you find that the upgrades are within your budget.

Moreover, you need to ensure that the property has a good structure. Pay attention to your walk through report on the foundation, basement, floors, walls, frames, and roof. Likewise, confirm the status of any outbuildings included in the sale, such as sheds or garages. You’ll want to guarantee that you have a solid structure with excellent construction before closing the deal.

Consider investing in a property walk through to save money in the long term. If your walk through report looks stellar, then you can confidently proceed with the sale. If the potential problems seem extensive yet fixable, then you may propose a price adjustment. Otherwise, you could just look for better properties instead.

Connect With a Real Estate Agent Who Understands the Local Market

If you’re buying a property without seeing it in person, you may live in another state or area. The real estate process you might be familiar with is most likely going to be different from the one you are going to go through when you invest in a property in Las Vegas and surrounding areas.

With a local real estate agent who understands the relevant procedures, you can navigate them easily. You just need to help them understand your real estate investment goals, and they can adjust accordingly. As you look for a partner, be sure to screen them thoroughly to confirm their reliability when representing you when buying a property.

Consider having a checklist of the skills you are looking for in a local real estate agent. Many candidates can claim to be the best, but not all may be flexible with your timeline and budget. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Wide Local Market Knowledge: How long have they been in business? Can they offer different possibilities as it relates to the local economy while meeting your price range? You want a real estate agent who has years of market knowledge. They must understand the different communities in the various neighborhoods of the property that you plan to invest in. 
  • Excellent Negotiation Skills: You can almost immediately tell how good a real estate agent is at their job when they speak to you confidently. That confidence is likely to translate when they make offers on your behalf. Since you won’t be present in the property during the offer and closing process, their negotiation skills will be critical as they advocate for your real estate goals. These skills will also come in handy when you need someone to explain why some adjustments are necessary and how they still meet your investment needs.

Partner With a Las Vegas Property Management Professional

Another professional that you need to form a partnership with is a local property manager. Their skillset is unique to them, and they can fill in where your real estate agent might not be fully equipped to provide. Essentially, Las Vegas property managers can help you navigate the rental processes involved in the property you’re eyeing.

You may wonder why you need to think about property management in Las Vegas while you’re still early in the investing process. Professional property managers can help you anticipate vacancy periods and assess the following factors: 

  • How much work you will need before it can even enter the rental market
  • How much you’re likely to earn from the property
  • How much you’re likely to spend for its maintenance and upkeep

Your property manager’s findings can complement what your real estate agents discover when advocating for your investment goals. Having a management professional as early as possible gives you an immediate understanding of what to expect if you go forward, so you can quickly prepare your property for the rental market.

Place an Offer on the Property Confidently

You should be able to trust that you have the right people on your team to make a well-informed decision when making an offer. Even if you didn’t see the property for yourself, you should go into the purchase confidently since you’ve allowed your local property manager and real estate agent to gather all the relevant information you want.

You can expect counter offers and negotiations as the process continues. It may be intimidating because it will move fast, and you must remain connected to your local real estate agent. Since you won’t be there, your communication needs to be tight. However, with the experts you’ve enlisted, you should be good.

Get the Right People To Work With You When Investing in a Property Sight Unseen

Diversify PortfolioInvestors looking to diversify their portfolio might be looking into their options outside their immediate location. However, what you need to know about investing in a property that you haven’t seen is that the local market is likely going to be different from the one you’re used to. As such, you must have the right partners to advocate for your investment goals when navigating the relevant procedures.

If you’re looking for rental properties throughout Clark County — particularly Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas — then you can count on New West Property Management to put your goals first. Our team of property management professionals can work with you and navigate the local market on your behalf. Contact us today.