Can you show us around outside the property too?
Since you can’t see for yourself, you might want to ask the agent to show you the street, condition of the driveway and gardens, and the condition of the exterior of the property. Take note of things like:
• The direction of the windows and where they are – so you can anticipate natural lighting and airflow;
• Fencing and natural features that provide privacy;
• Cleanliness and the condition of the property generally; and
• Any obvious structural or maintenance issues.
Is it noisy?
You’ll want to know long before you move in if noise is going to be a problem. This is especially true if the home is near a busy street, a school, or any other popular public area.
Listen carefully for noise during the tour. And feel free to ask the agent to open a window or two to check for yourself.
How old is the roof?
Since you’re not physically present, you can’t check things like the age of appliances, airflow, the state of the HVAC, or location of the electrical outlets for yourself. Let alone get a feel for the natural lighting if the home being shown during the virtual open house has been staged before the camera was switched on (which it will have been).
These things are out of sight and might quickly be out of mind, so it’s best to take note of any features that you really value in your home. What matters most is entirely up to you but be sure to have the list prepared in advance so you don’t forget to ask!
What is included with the purchase
You can request the inclusion of appliances, window coverings and any other fixture to be included in the purchase price. Since this question can save you time, money, and hassle, it is well worth asking. The worst they can say is no.
Are there any known problems or issues with the property?
Buying a home is a big investment. You want to make sure that you’re getting what you pay for.
The best way to do this during a virtual open house is to ask the real estate agent whether there are any known defects with the property. If they know about them, they have to disclose them to you by law.
You might also want to consider asking whether any maintenance or rectification works have been undertaken recently.
It might be minor repairs, which might point to a seller who has carefully kept the place in good condition. Or it might reveal serious structural works that might warrant a more thorough investigation. Either way, knowledge is power when purchasing a home.
Finally, sometimes a seller might not even know about dangerous hazards or defects that exist in their home. If you are at all uncertain, hire a qualified home inspector to complete a home inspection on your behalf. The cost to you upfront is minimal compared to what it might be down the line.