Virtual home buying is officially a thing! Here’s how it works

Tara McCabe

24 Mar 2020

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It’s possible to do just about anything online these days, from managing your bank accounts to getting a degree, and now as it turns out, you can even buy a home virtually!

Plus with social distancing in place for the foreseeable future, buying homes and financing your mortgage without stepping outside may just become the norm for more and more Australians.

CEO of digital agency Upside Realty commented saying, “It’s of the utmost importance that government social distancing measures are implemented, and the industry needs to adapt quickly.”

So the technology already exists, but how would the process actually work? Well without further ado, here’s a breakdown of what buying a home virtually looks like:

1. Agents work remotely

There’s no need for physical shop fronts in virtual home buying or selling, as real estate agents work and contact buyers and sellers remotely.

Real estate listings went online years ago with sites like domain and realestate.com.au, so working with a remote agent won’t be any different. 

2. Video chat meetings

You will be able to chat to an agent about the kind of property you’re after, only this time the talking will be done via video chat rather than in their office. Meetings can be conducted right from the comfort of your own sofa by way of a video call.

3. Virtual open home tours

With the help of the latest technology, a number of real estate agents now offer virtual open home tours. This way you can virtually wonder through your potential future home, while safely practicing social distancing.

4. Sign documentation online

Let’s face it, e-signatures aren’t exactly a new thing. The ability to sign documents digitally has been around for a while now, but it’s just one more piece of the virtual home buying puzzle that fits nicely in place. More than a few real estate agents now have access to cloud-based software, making it easy for you to sign all relevant documentation online.

5. Apply for an online home loan

Finally, with more and more home loan lenders based solely online, applying and getting approved all from your own browser has never been easier to do. That’s not the only upside to applying online either, as online home loans often offer lower interest rates than those offered with regular banks or lenders. In fact, the average variable rate offered by online lenders is currently 0.65% lower than the average variable rate across all home loans; 2.91% p.a. in comparison to 3.54% p.a. (both for $400,000 principal and interest loans with a loan to value ratio of 80%)^.

Feeling inspired to start searching online for your dream home loan? Head to Mozo’s home loans hub to compare online home loan lenders, or check out the deals on offer below. Happy browsing!

^Interest rate averages based on home loans available in the Mozo database, correct as of Tuesday 24th March, 2020.

Compare home loan interest rates

Rates updated daily. Advertiser disclosure.

  • loans.com.au

    1.99% p.a.variable for 12 months and then 2.48% p.a. variable

    2.47% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Smart Booster Home Loan

    1 Year Discounted Variable Rate, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, <80% LVR

    1.99% p.a.variable for 12 months and then 2.48% p.a. variable

    2.47% p.a.

    A super low introductory rate home loan with no monthly or ongoing fees. Unlimited free redraws and unlimited additional repayments to help you build your equity and own your home sooner. Multiple loan splits available. (Rates revert after introductory period ends). 20% minimum deposit required.

    Smart Booster Home Loan

    A super low introductory rate home loan with no monthly or ongoing fees. Unlimited free redraws and unlimited additional repayments to help you build your equity and own your home sooner. Multiple loan splits available. (Rates revert after introductory period ends). 20% minimum deposit required.

    • 1.99% p.a.variable for 12 months and then 2.48% p.a. variable

    • 2.47% p.a.

    • $520

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • Optional - with 0.10% additional interest

    • $520

    • 80.00%

    • $50,000

    • $1,000,000

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Smart Booster Home Loan

    Details Close

  • UBank
    Mozo Expert Choice Badge

    1.75% p.a.
    fixed 3 years

    2.22% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    UHomeLoan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    1.75% p.a.
    fixed 3 years

    2.22% p.a.

    $0 fees and easy application with the Mozo Experts Choice Home Lender Bank of the Year.^ Choose between weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. 3 year fixed rates are for new Owner Occupier Principal & Interest loans.

    UHomeLoan

    $0 fees and easy application with the Mozo Experts Choice Home Lender Bank of the Year.^ Choose between weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. 3 year fixed rates are for new Owner Occupier Principal & Interest loans.

    • 1.75% p.a.
      fixed 3 years

    • 2.22% p.a.

    • $395

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free up to $20,000 p.a.

    • no

    • no

    • $395

    • 80.00%

    • $100,000

    • $2,000,000

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    • $395 Establishment fee waived for fixed rate loans that settle by 31 March 2020. Receive 1.75% Receive 1.75% 3 year fixed rate when you apply by 26 February 2021 and settle within 90 days.

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the UHomeLoan

    Details Close

  • Athena
    Mozo Expert Choice Badge

    2.19% p.a. variable

    2.19% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Celebrate Variable Home Loan

    <60% LVR, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    2.19% p.a. variable

    2.19% p.a.

    Fast online application with no fees. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Min 40% deposit. Crowned Best New Home Loan for 2020 by the Mozo Experts.^

    Celebrate Variable Home Loan

    Fast online application with no fees. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Min 40% deposit. Crowned Best New Home Loan for 2020 by the Mozo Experts.^

    • 2.19% p.a. variable

    • 2.19% p.a.

    • $0

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • $0

    • 60.00%

    • $100,000

    • $2,000,000

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Celebrate Variable Home Loan

    Details Close

  • Virgin Money

    2.04% p.a.
    fixed 2 years

    2.79% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Special Offer Reward Me Fixed Rate Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, LVR <80%, 300k+

    2.04% p.a.
    fixed 2 years

    2.79% p.a.

    Enjoy $3,000 cashback when you refinance with Virgin Money (T&Cs apply). Additional repayments up to $10,000 per annum. Reverts to the discounted variable rate on expiry of the fixed term.

    Special Offer Reward Me Fixed Rate Home Loan

    Enjoy $3,000 cashback when you refinance with Virgin Money (T&Cs apply). Additional repayments up to $10,000 per annum. Reverts to the discounted variable rate on expiry of the fixed term.

    • 2.04% p.a.
      fixed 2 years

    • 2.79% p.a.

    • $450

    • $10.00 monthly

    • $350.00

    • yes - up to $10,000 per annum

    • no

    • no

    • $450

    • 80.00%

    • $300,000

    • -

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    • $3,000 cashback for new borrowings of at least $300,000, applications by 26 Feb 2021, settled by 28 May 2021.

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Special Offer Reward Me Fixed Rate Home Loan

    Details Close

  • Macquarie

    2.19% p.a.
    fixed 3 years

    2.53% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Basic Home Loan

    Fixed, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR 70-80%

    2.19% p.a.
    fixed 3 years

    2.53% p.a.

    Flexible loan structure – create up to six loan accounts with different rate and repayment types. Free redraw from your loan using Macquarie Online.

    Basic Home Loan

    Flexible loan structure – create up to six loan accounts with different rate and repayment types. Free redraw from your loan using Macquarie Online.

    • 2.19% p.a.
      fixed 3 years

    • 2.53% p.a.

    • $0

    • $0.00

    • $400.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • $0

    • 80.00%

    • $150,000

    • $750,000

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Basic Home Loan

    Details Close

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Home loans Awards