Buying a Home Sight Unseen (The New York Times)
Zack Fountas bought a new one-bedroom apartment in White Plains, N.Y., from his home in Chicago, without ever having set foot inside the building.
The 850-square-foot apartment is within walking distance of the train station, and with an asking price of $155,000, it appeared on paper to have almost everything Mr. Fountas and his fiancée were looking for, including a dishwasher.
During an open house last summer, his sister-in-law and Joe Muller, an agent with Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty, gave Mr. Fountas a tour using FaceTime. Mr. Muller showed him around with his iPhone and then emailed a link with listing photos and comparable sales nearby. Mr. Fountas, who had not seen any other places in person, bid $142,000, and his offer was accepted.
Six weeks later, it was time to take a tour in person. “I think I was sweating because I was like, ‘Oh, my god, what if he doesn’t like it?’” Mr. Muller said. “He’d have lost his deposit.”