Home Buying Tips for Out of State Buyers and Virtual Showings


Tonya O' Quinn



Home Buying Tips for Out of State Buyers and Virtual Showings

Tonya O'Quinn, Broker Associate with the Lisa Barton Team recently sat down with the host of First Coast Living to discuss options available to buyers that are outside of Northeast Florida. See the full interview here.

What are some of the ways out of town buyers can house hunt without traveling to Jacksonville?

The most important thing an out of state buyer can do is find a competent real estate agent with good knowledge of the area! It’s possible to interview agents online and we recommend you do that before you get started on your home search.

During the pandemic, our team learned several ways to work differently. We had a lot of buyers who were hesitant to travel, but knew they wanted to move to Northeast Florida. During 2020 - 2021 we sold dozens of homes to people who never actually came to see the house. By using FaceTime, Zoom and our iPads we were able to “walk” through homes with buyers. We also use this technology to virtually show neighborhoods and amenities.

What is a virtual showing?

A virtual showing can be a walk through the house with a phone. We also use 3D technology to create virtual tours for some of our listings through a company called Matterport. These are the 3D videos that show a “dollhouse” version of the floor plan. Buyers can use their computer mouse to walk through the house virtually” and get a feel for the spaces. Most buyers find it super helpful.

What are some of “cons” for purchasing a home without seeing it?

Despite all the cool technology options we work with, it’s still important for potential buyers to actually “feel” the house before buying. Virtual tours are a great way quickly rule-in or rule-out properties before deciding, but they can't capture everything about the home. Another con can be that if there are multiple offers on a property, a seller might not accept an offer from a buyer who hasn’t toured the house in person.

It’s important to remember that if you’re considering purchasing a house through a virtual tour, you need to know and really trust your real estate agent. Your agent needs to have a good understanding of what your family is looking for in a new home and be willing to point out any negative features when touring the house on your behalf. Some things (like smell) don’t come through on a virtual showing.

What are some of the “pros” of virtual showings?

Again, it’s a way to quickly rule-in or out a property, especially if buyers are short on time. Also, when properties are selling very quickly an agent can see a house the first day it comes on the market. That way, if it’s a good fit, you as a buyer can be competitive and not miss out on the opportunity to bid on the right house. Our team has had lots of experience with virtual showings, and this has been a terrific option for many of our buyers.

If you have any questions about virtual showings or are an out of town buyers relocating to our area, we'd love to talk to you. Please give us a call at (904) 465-9139.

Tonya O' Quinn

Tonya O' Quinn

The Lisa Barton Team of Ponte Vedra Beach

Need help buying or selling your home?

If you are new to the area and have questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We would be glad to help.