Blog Buyer Buying a Home Remotely

Buying a Home Remotely

By Mel Marzahl, June 5, 2020

I’ve never met Vijay and Pooja in person, they live in Boston and bought their new SW Portland home 100% remotely. Today we are closing on their new home in Hayhurst and I’m reflecting on my time working with them. They found me online almost a year ago. Since we started we have been completely virtual, connecting over phone, text, email and video.

A year ago Vijay called me and told me he was interested in a specific home. I gave him some information and learned he and Pooja lived in Boston. I offered to do a FaceTime tour or send a video of the home he was interested in. I started taking videos of homes they were interested in and texting him a few minutes of video at a time. “This is the front” I’d say as I showed them the sidewalk, the street, driveway and front porch. I’d send that short video and then start filming the next one by going through the front door… “And here’s the entrance…” “Now we’re going into the living room…” “look at these amaaaazing hardwood floors (I said while kneeling down to get a good shot of the pretty floors)…”

Over the past year of off and on home shopping with them, I’ve refined my skills as a videographer. Since I started, my short video clips via text have evolved. Now I provide longer video tours posted to youtube with a private link for my buyers. I invested in a gimbal, a tool which stabilizes my camera, so I can take better footage and focus on showing off the home. I’ve helped many other remote buyers too! About 30% of the clients I helped buy homes last year were partially or completely remote during the time we worked together.

All this working and filming remotely has seriously paid off. I am grateful for the experience I gained helping Pooja & Vijay, and my other remote clients. With the pandemic going on, my ability to address the unique needs of a remote client has helped me pivot and grow my business during this time of hardship. I now offer my buyers who can’t meet in person the option of a video tour or a live virtual tour with me on FaceTime, Skype, Hangouts, Zoom, Facebook and more! I also host live virtual open houses on my Facebook Page for many Living Room Realty listings.

Vijay and Pooja will be receiving the keys to their new home via Fedex tomorrow and will travel out here to see it for the first time in a few weeks. I am thrilled to be finally meeting them in person but bummed I won’t be able to give them a big hug or round of high fives just yet. I know they are excited too, and we’ll find a way to celebrate together, distantly.

Congrats again Pooja and Vijay!

Mel Marzahl


A Pacific Northwest native, Mel became a passionate advocate for homeownership and investing in real estate after buying and selling her first home. What interested her most was realizing the significant financial impact the right investment property can make and learning how much having a home to truly call your own can improve your quality-of-life. Her specialties are working with first time home buyers and sellers but is fluent in all aspects of residential real estate. She is also a CNE, or Certified Negotiations Expert, and knows that with all the technology available to buyers and sellers, one of the best skills a REALTOR® can have is knowing how to be a collaborative negotiator in order to get the best for their clients. After a decade long career working in operations and client service for creative companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mel earned her Oregon Broker’s license and made the move to real estate. Her philosophy in real estate is listen to her client’s needs and to treat everyone involved in a transaction with honesty and integrity. She loves getting to know her buyers and sellers, many of whom become friends, and ensuring they get the highest level of service she is known for. With a background in art and events, Mel brings creativity and an eye for detail to the table. She enjoys a remodel project, has a soft spot for Old Portland and 1900's craftsman houses, helping first time buyers, and educating her clients on the selling and purchasing process. She believes in staying up to date on Portland real estate trends, but also technology and tools available to agents. This gives her an edge when it comes to researching and marketing properties, as well as communicating with her clients. When Mel is not working in real estate she is volunteering with the Red Cross, gardening, hosting dinner parties, or relaxing at home on Bull Mountain with her husband, Mike, and two big dogs, Indy and Jackson.
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