Buying a House Sight Unseen

Finding the right agent and getting help from others on the ground can help you buy a house even if you can't visit it in person.
Barbara Marquand
By Barbara Marquand 
Updated
Edited by Johanna Arnone

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When moving long distance, it’s not always feasible to tour homes in person before finding one you’re serious about. Even for shoppers with a tight timeline, the process can take weeks. Flights and hotel stays can add up quickly, depleting savings that would ideally go toward your down payment.

Making an offer without seeing a house in person isn't the ideal way to purchase a home, but it can be done. Technology such as 3D video tours and video-calling apps make it easier.

"Sight unseen" covers a spectrum. Some buyers make an offer without seeing the house in person but then attend the home inspection before the sale closes. Others don't set foot in the house until the final walk-through or even after the closing.

Previous homebuying experience isn't required for buying a house sight unseen, but it can make navigating the process less intimidating. Having some personal connections in the area where you're house hunting can help, too.

Here's how to make it work.

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Rocket Mortgage - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on Rocket Mortgage

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5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Rocket Mortgage - PURCHASE logo

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
580

Min. down payment 
3.5%

Check Rate

on Rocket Mortgage

Better - PURCHASE logo
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4.5

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Better - PURCHASE logo

4.5

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Min. credit score 
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3%

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on Better

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