Would you buy a property sight unseen?

It’s an interesting question. There are many examples of purchases sight unseen, the most common being new off the plan residential towers.

In the past, for new properties, this has been quite normal with local and overseas buyers prepared to buy based on the developers marketing materials. 

But let’s talk about today under the current COVID-19 restrictions and here will discuss only established properties. Open For Inspections are effectively closed for around seven weeks hopefully re-opening 26th October – but nothing is certain. 

So even for established properties if you want to buy now, it will be sight unseen – except you can do a drive-by if it’s within 5klm of your home.

But we would advise extreme caution and here are some reasons. 

  • Depending on age, there may be no building guarantees.
  • Are the pictures you are looking at current – an accurate representation of the interior? 
  • You will not be able to do a pest and building inspection, so how will you know if the building is free of pests and structurally sound? 
  • Is the layout right for you just by looking at a floorplan and photos?
  • Is the asking price fair? Who says so? How do you understand the value of the property?
  • Have you considered how the bank will value the property with no access if you require finance?
  • If you can’t do a drive-by, does it fits your precinct needs, medical, schooling, shops and public transport?
  • What are the normal parking and traffic noise conditions?
  • What are your neighbours like?
  • What special contract conditions should you insist on given the exceptional circumstances? 

Buying sight-unseen is something that we do NOT recommend. For such a large investment, there are too many variables and potential negatives. 

However, if you are in a situation that means you must buy now, e.g. divorce, relocation, financial issues, etc., then call us. We will guide you through today’s challenging property landscape.

Please email us at ela Property Advocates, Guy Angwin guyjohn@iinet.net.au or Geoff Briscoe geoffbriscoe@tpg.com.au, to search, assess and help you buy or sell your next home.