Profile picture for Mynewhouse2011

What is the smartest way to shop for a home remotely?

I live in Virginia but am retiring and wish to shop for homes in Oklahoma. I can use the website for options, but how bankable are these listings and the details contained therein? It's intimidating to think about buying a home you haven't been standing in front of when you're thinking about commitment. Any advice?

 Thanks!

 James
  • September 17 2010 - Oklahoma City
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Answers (26)

I would suggest interviewing agents to find someone you are comfortable working with.  I would suggest confirming through the interview process that the agent is comfortable utilizing digital signatures and is tech savvy.  The more ted savvy the agent is the smoother the process will be seeing as you are conducting business long distance.  After you hone in on a property you would like to purchase you should understand that the standard Oklahoma contract allows for an inspection period of the property that is a negotiable time frame.  I would recommend making sure that you will be able to come to town to inspect the property you get under contract during that time frame.  That will eliminate you waisting time on properties that come and go off the market etc and ensure that you visit the property you are purchasing before actually purchasing the property.  If you are unsatisfied with your inspection you can cancel the contract and have your earnest money returned.  To provide further insurance you could even make the contract contingent on a physical site visit to be conducted during your inspection time frames.  I would also recommending locating properties on google earth confirm you like the location in reference to nearby streets etc.  Would you like to set up a time to conduct an interview?
  • April 16 2014
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Do exactly what you're doing….use Zillow.  After you find a home you like in a certain neighborhood contact an agent that works in that area to help you with more details concerning that neighborhood.  Then check out websites that give you information on schools and interests that you may have.  I hope this was helpful.

  • January 16 2011
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Profile picture for Ruidoso Annie
Hi James,

It sounds like you need a Realtor. One who knows the area.
That will do the leg work for you. They can send listings and pictures and videos. This will be a help in finding a new home. Also use a site like Realtor.com, they have current and updated listing every 15 mins.
Most sites like Zillow need to be inputted so it it may not be as accurate.

You are right about it being hard to buy with out seeing a home in person. Ask agent to take pics of neighbors too. Have them take pics of the good the bad and the ugly. It is the digital age. so take advantage of it.

 
  • December 27 2010
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Find an agent that knows how to shoot and use video. 
  • December 27 2010
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www.Zillow.com
  • December 27 2010
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Finding a local agent who specializes in relocation is the best option.
  • December 27 2010
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It is best to use a local expert that will answer your questions and limit your contacts.  There are a number of web sites such as zillow, trulia and realtor.com which are all good.  In fact you can use them all and determine which one meets your needs and focus on that one.
  • December 26 2010
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I agree with everyone about using a local expert. I have sold several home to people out of state and aside from the usual pictures, etc... one thing that seemed to work well was a video tour of not just the house but the city and neighborhood as well. I was able to give a virtual tour of the area, amenities and the home through video.

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  • December 25 2010
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The internet is a great place to start, but is not always the most up to date for information.  Once you have found a few homes you might be interested in, I would start interviewing local Realtors. 

The key word is interviewing.  Different Realtors have different strengths so I'd check with a few to see which you feel the most comfortable with. 
  • December 12 2010
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Local expertise is what you need on your side. The internet is a fantastic way to get ground work started, reading up on communities and learning about the roadways, local attractions and schools. Homes on the internet are typically a live feed so you most likely will be seeing homes actively available BUT consulting with a Realtor that is savvy about the area is what you need as your next step in this out of state experience. Also, it may be that Real Estate law is different from state to state so understanding the purchase process is ideal before you schedule a visit. Your Realtor can answer all the questions. They should be able to answer how they negotiate, years in the business, properties listed or sold in your target area etc.. and set you up to receive automatic emails as new properties come on the market that fit your criteria. It is an involved process, start with the internet but rely on the professional to educate you on housing trends, decline or improvement in pricing for the area etc. Best wishes, Michele
  • December 03 2010
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Find a local agent with a great experience.
  • November 21 2010
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Profile picture for Connie Klemme

Use your family and friends to help you pick a local Realtor that will help you.  Someone with their feet on the ground here can help fill in the gap between the info available on the web and your questions!

  • November 16 2010
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James

Hope all is well with you today!

Use your family/friends in the area to preview homes that you see online that interest you. Family and friends will usually give you their honest opinion about a home's condition.  After you narrow the list down...schedule a weekend to see as many of the homes that really interested you.....and then pick one!!  Ultimately, you will be the one living there.  It's like on-line dating...You look and the pic/bios; you pick some to finally meet...you fall in love...and voila..your committed LOL :) 

Clara Lyons, Realtor

I turn real estate dreams into reality - One home at a time!

  • October 07 2010
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Contact a local agent in that area and have them send you information for that area.  If you don't know who to call, try getting a referral from your current agent.  Also, I wouldn't purchas a home I haven't seen, if at all possible visit before you buy.  However, if you make an offer it could be contingent upon you seeing it and of course inspection.

James, good luck!
  • September 19 2010
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Hi James!  My name is Jenna Laird and I'm a real estate broker in the OKC metro area.  I just emailed you a quick message and would love to help you if you're still in need of a local agent.  Feel free to call me anytime at [contact info removed by moderator] .  Thanks so much!

Jenna
  • September 19 2010
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The first thing you must do is talk to a lender and find out the price home that you qualify for.  Then find an agent with experience who knows what they are doing.  Call her and explain what you want in a home.  Ask the agent to e-mail you the homes that contain the criteria you want.  Be sure to communicate with the agent what you like and do not like about the listings she or he send you.  Then set up a date and time you will be in the area to look at homes.  When you find a home you like ask the agent to review the properties that have sold recently in the area that you are interested in.  Then have the broker write the contract.  The contract can be done remotely but you must physically look at the property to know if this is the home you desire.

I hope I have been of some help.
Jo
  • September 18 2010
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I have clients who place bids on mult foreclosure/bank-owned props here in  Southern California. They slate an appt. to come out and see/inspect/ calculate the improvements on the props during the due diligence: 17-day period granted by the contract in which the buyer may cancel for ANY reason at all in writing.  On the flip-side, I'm their eyes and ears, hooking them up with a scrutinizing, licensed home inspector.
There's no room for doubt -- I do my homework!
Read the contracts in your state and see what features and contractual benefits you'd reap as a buyer. Don't be fearful, be the savvy business person you really are! BE proactive! Abundance, Lyn.
  • September 17 2010
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Buying a home long distance can be very tricky, even with today's technology.  It might be in your best interest to schedule a visit to the area that your are considering, check out the old neighborhood and interview agents yourself.  Some things just can not be done over the phone/internet, and I would never recommend buying a home without seeing it.  Good luck!
  • September 17 2010
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Find a local agent in the area you like to move to. Have that agent send you properties with the features you like in a home. Use virtual tours to help and take a trip to take a look. You want to see the home your going to live in.



 Good Luck
  • September 17 2010
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Profile picture for Jerry Carew
Hire a local agent who works with buyers and has been in the area a number of years. Ask them detailed questions about the area. Are you speak with a few agents, you will know who to hire.
  • September 17 2010
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I have a client that lives in California but wants to move to Minnesota. She is pretty adept at finding properties on the internet and she has been here quite a few times so she is passingly familiar with the area.

If she finds a listing that interests her, she emails me and I do some work online and if necessary on site to determine if this would be a property that would be feasible for her needs. Frankly the bulk of the working can be done over the internet (looking at local websites and emailing) but the agent will need to know your exact needs to assist you at all.

I wouldn't rely on Zillow to do your home shopping. I would find the website of a local real estate company. Their listings are often pulled from the local MLS so they will be freshest. Some of the listings on Zillow and other national sites are stale - and that's going to waste a lot of your time.
  • September 17 2010
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Profile picture for Kiyo Johnson

Hi James,

I recommend that you contact a local expert in the area that you're interested in.  Let the agent know what you're looking for (the more specific the better) and then schedule a trip after narrowing down the search that the agent will have the best of the list of homes to show you.

This may entail communication and feedback through virtual tours, demographics and research between you and your agent.

Good luck!
Kiyo

  • September 17 2010
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Profile picture for Mynewhouse2011
ADDENDUM to my own question.... 

  Thanks for the feedback from those who responded. 

 I should have mentioned that I was born and raised in Oklahoma City and lived there until 1997. I have little family there, but am familiar with the neighborhoods in general. I have visuals of certain pocket areas from both previously owning a house from 1992 until 1998 and from trips back there between 1997 and 2010, so I am not flying as blindly as I made myself sound. 

 I think I was getting at the details of how to work with a realtor from long distance.

  Thanks again, 

J
  • September 17 2010
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Profile picture for John Squier

I suggest you seek a couple agents to interview by searching the Web and having phone interview. Once you found someone who hears what you are saying, take time to clearly explain your criteria so the agent can begin pushing information to you with properties that meet your criteria.

Ideally you should plan on seeing the properties in person once the agent has narrowed your search to the most appropriate for you. If you are unable to see the properties in person you just need to be confident that you are working with an agent who clearly understands your needs and is effective at communication. I have personally seen good outcomes with buyers who have bought sight unseen.

  • September 17 2010
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In no way should you ever buy a house without seeing it first. Even if you find an agent that has your best interest in mind they will never truly know what you are looking for. My advice: Call some agents perform a good interview over the phone ask all the questions that concern you ask the agent to inform you on how many buyers they have handled that was relocating. And once you find a great Realtor you feel comfortable with start giving them the criteria of what you are looking for and let them get you a list of some properties. Then schedule a time to go there and tour the city and get familiar with the housing market. You might have to make a few trips but in the end when it comes time to make that investment you will be able to make an educated decision.
  • September 17 2010
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Profile picture for sunnyview
If you are shopping across state lines, you need a really professional and exceedingly honest agent. A good agent can listen to your needs and send you detailed listings as soon as new listings come on the MLS. They will have to be your eyes and ears so you have to know that they have you best interests in mind.

It would be hard for me to buy a house and not look in person, but I have talked to people who have done it. The ones that it has worked for were very honest and clear about who they wanted to live near, what they most appreciated in a house, what their requirements were and what things were negotiable and not. Ultimately, you can do a lot of legwork from afar, but you may have to make a couple trips to OK to look for yourself to find a house that really fits you personally.
  • September 17 2010
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