Most Homebuyers Made Offers Site-Unseen in 2020, According to Redfin

House flippers, you may receive an increasing number of offers on your properties from out-of-state buyers.

A record 63 percent of homebuyers made offers on a property last year without actually seeing them in person, Redfin reports. That’s an increase of 31 percent over November 2019.

Redfin surveyed over 1,900 homebuyers across 32 major markets during the months of November and December, and in mid-January, said sight-unseen offers have never been more popular since it first began collecting data of this nature five years ago.

The surge is due to an increase in virtual home tours as a result of the pandemic, and the ability of many individuals to work remotely and more easily relocate to different parts of the country.

In the beginning of 2020, requests to Redfin agents for virtual home tours was at less than 1 percent. Currently, that figure sits at approximately 10 percent. Since last February, the company’s monthly views of 3D walkthroughs on Redfin.com experienced an increase of 563 percent.

In a statement published on the real estate brokerage’s website, Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather predicts that the virtual home tour and purchasing homes site-unseen will continue their popularity this year.

“The virtual home tour is here to stay,” Fairweather said. “The increased use of this technology, coupled with more people relocating, mean the sight-unseen trend will continue, and the majority of homebuyers will make offers sight unseen during their search for a home in 2021.”

Virtual home tours can show a home in great detail, giving homebuyers a palpable sense of the residence that’s simply not possible with 3D walkthroughs or photographs.

Real estate experts expect brisk home sales to continue into the near future due to historically-low interest rates that are motivating homebuyers to move swiftly on a shrinking inventory of homes for sale.

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