Blog Buyer Five Tips for Buying a Home Sight-Unseen

Five Tips for Buying a Home Sight-Unseen

By Sophia Rosenberg, November 8, 2019

When my first-time home buyer clients called, they were on a (quick) mission: find a house in the Wilson High School zone that has 3+ bedrooms, 2+ bathrooms and is under $500k. Something move in ready, with a yard, a cute neighborhood, and preferably walkable. Extra bonus: a basement that could eventually be turned into a rental, or a place for their in-laws to stay when in town.

The caveat? They wouldn’t be here to tour any of the houses and likely wouldn’t be here until possession day.  And they needed it to close in the next two months.

Here are five tools that got us through tours, an accepted offer, inspections and closing:


1. Facetime and YouTube:

When we toured homes we used Facetime so that they could see it live because as we all know, photos often don’t do it justice (or in some cases do it too much justice). When they weren’t able to see it in person, I video’d the home and loaded up the videos to You Tube so they could take a look when their schedules allowed.

2. Magic Plan App:

As tough as photos can be to gauge a house from, it’s equally tricky to understand the layout if the listing agent hasn’t provided a floor plan. Enter the Magic Plan App.  For homes my clients were really interested in, I created a floor plan using the app so that they had a good understanding of room dimensions, ceiling heights and the overall layout.

3. A digital timeline:

I use a digital timeline with all clients, but in this case it was particularly helpful.  The timeline I use auto populates my clients calendar with critical dates: earnest money deposit due date, inspection dates, inspection deadlines, etc.  It’s helpful for keeping everyone on the same page.

4. An amazing Mortgage Broker:

Enter Rayko Diaz from Guild Mortgage.  Rayko was in constant communication with the group, both as a whole and separately.  He sent status updates weekly to let people know what was needed of them and when.  Also: he’s a great guy.

5. An agent you trust: 

This is a critical factor in buying something sight unseen.  You want to know that the agent you use has style and tools to help you understand what you’re buying.  Equally important is their access to phenomenal inspectors and sub contractors who can give you a really clear understanding of the home’s condition and the cost of any associated repairs that need to be done so you can adequately negotiate prior to the inspection contingency expiring.

I’m so excited for my clients as they enter the next chapter of their life!  This house is a beauty, it’s in such a cute neighborhood and all the updates were in keeping with the mid-century charm.

Now comes the fun part: handing them the keys when they see it for the first time in person!

Want to talk Portland Real Estate?  Reach out!

Sophia Rosenberg

Earth Advantage & ADU Specialist Broker

Home, hospitality and community have long been signposts to Sophia’s heart, and they also happen to represent key stages of her life so far. As a young, up-and-coming designer, she put an interior architecture degree from the University of California to work managing the design and styling of new openings for the popular Kimpton Hotels brand. After completing Babson’s renowned entrepreneurial MBA program, Sophia began creating the marketing and branding plans for a host of new luxury hotels — including Joie de Vivre’s beloved boutique hotels — as director of branding for a hospitality group founded by the Hyatt scion John Pritzker. But amid all the travel and excitement, she began to feel a desire to be closer to “a community I’m proud to call home while helping families find their perfect place.” Her first home was a 1938 English cottage that she successfully renovated, decorated and sold. And as she turned from creating homes away from home, to home sweet home, it turns out that real estate brings it all together for her: Nimble management skills. A passion for design. Love of community. An accredited Earth Advantage Real Estate Broker and ADU Specialist, she offers clients an abundance of green home expertise with hands-on experience creating backyard cottages (check out her charming loft on AirBnB). Among clients and colleagues alike, she’s known as much for her tenacity and enthusiasm for negotiating and navigating multiple offers as she is for nurturing and maintaining relationships long after her deals are closed.
When she’s not helping her clients, you’ll find her renovating her 1911 Four Square, shopping vintage and spending time outdoors with Maya, Archie and Danny — her young daughter, son and sneaker obsessed husband.
Read More
  • T: 503-936-7499

You might also enjoy

Top Notch Marketing

Kate Smith

Living Room Marketing Dazzles Them All One of the driving forces to me wanting to join...

The Heart of Happy Valley

Ben Samson

This home boasts 5 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms all over 3 floors.  At just around 3000...

The Gargoyle House

Drew Burchette

Sometimes you’ve got to go on a bit of a journey to circle back to where...

Petite Perfection In A Newly Built Affordable Home In Kenton

Alyssa Isenstein Krueger

Molly and her son have been renting a below market rate home owned by a non-profit...