New Trend Sees Minnesotans Buying Homes Without Even Seeing Them
It's a wild housing market right now.
My wife and I bought our house in March of 2020, just before COVID hit. Things were crazy then. We'd look at a house and within hours it would already have offers we couldn't match. The house we did end up buying we pulled the trigger on -- not recklessly or without thought, but we certainly didn't have as much time as I would have liked to consider other options. Still, I'm grateful we got the house that we did when we did. I can't imagine buying a house without seeing it in person, which is apparently the latest trend in Minnesota's housing market (*cue all the upset realtors about to prove me wrong*).
Someone claiming to be a licensed real estate agent recently took to the Minnesota thread of Reddit to share the latest "trend" they've seen.
"...recently I’ve been having more and more scheduled showings, on 'Coming Soon' properties, being cancelled because the sellers accepted a sight-unseen offer," says Reddit user u/kapncrutch. "In many cases, the properties go straight to 'Pending' which means the buyer waived the inspection — which unfortunately is the norm at this point." They go on to express that "if it wasn’t hard enough for buyers to get an offer accepted already, they now have to consider this ridiculous notion of submitting an exceptional offer before they’ve walked through the home."
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The post has generated over 400 comments on Reddit, many of them from sympathizers sharing their own frustrations and experiences.
"[I] moved here for a job and bought a house last year," shared one Reddit user. "I put in 6 very respectful offers above the asking price and kept getting beat out by people who paid cash sight unseen with no inspection. I kept thinking 'who the f*** are these people?!'"
"We tried to buy a house a month ago offering around 10% over asking price and lost out to someone that never visited it," shared another.
"10% wasn't cutting it in Minneapolis 6 months ago when I bought," adds a third. "It was 20%, or more, and almost all houses clear before they show up in online listings."
"I did this!" admits one Redditor. "Moved here from out of state and bought a house I didn't see in person. Nothing but regrets."
"Dad's neighbor put the house up for sale in Plymouth this week," shares another Reddit user. "They were asking 539 and were afraid it was too high. On the first day 39 offers came in and they sold for 580. Its not even an exceptionally nice house. Just an average 3 story medium sized Plymouth house built in the 80s / 90s."
"...the no inspection trend is alarming and harmful to buyers and sellers," chimed in one agent. "I generally pay for a 1 year warranty for buyers regardless if I list or help someone buy. Given the inflation in prices and the pressure to not have an inspection it just feels like the right thing to do."
Not all the comments have been negative, however. Some have come from homeowners who admitted to buying sight-unseen and having no regrets.
"I did this," says one. "We moved here in 2014, from another state for a job. End up with a nice house in a good neighborhood. We had our realtor walk through with my cousin who had us on FaceTime, so it wasn’t wholly unseen. No regrets, except maybe in January."
"I did that when I bought my house in 2012," shares another. "But at least back then doing so got you a screaming deal and it was worth the risk."
"I bought sight unseen," shares a third. "My realtor did a Zoom walkthrough because I was living on the other side of the country. [...] I did do the inspection to make sure nothing major stuck out, which my realtor attended. [...] It's a beautiful little house and definitely needs some cosmetic and minor items but I feel like for everything it has and the amount I paid for, I got a unicorn."
Meanwhile, a woman on TikTok last month shared a video of a realtor showing her house to prospective buyers...even though it wasn't for sale.