Is the pandemic causing more people to buy homes sight unseen?

By Philip Haldiman | Scottsdale Indpendent

Over the years, consumers have warmed up to buying certain products online, when before they would choose to buy them at a brick and mortar shop.

Shoes, clothes, home furnishings and even groceries — especially now that COVID-19 has led to social distancing restrictions — these are items that many consumers now unflinchingly buy online.

But what about a new home?

As the pandemic was ramping up last month, a survey from the National Association of Realtors found about 30% of those who worked with clients who put contracts on homes had at least one buyer who put in a contract without physically seeing the home.

But many local Realtors and experts see this behavior more as an outlier than the norm.

Jim Belfiore, founder and president of residential market research firm Belfiore Real Estate Consulting, said he has not been able to verify a single sight unseen purchase.


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