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

Tara McCabe

24 Mar 2020

redactor/hero-images/1495/virtual_home_buying_content_content.jpg

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

  • Promoted

    loans.com.au

    2.63% p.a. variable

    2.65% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Smart Home Loan 80

    A low-rate home loan that could save you thousands, with no ongoing fees plus unlimited extra repayments and free redraws. Mozo Experts Choice Low Cost Home Loan 2020.^ 20% deposit required. Limited time only.

    • 2.63% p.a. variable

    • 2.65% p.a.

    • $520

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • $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 Home Loan 80

  • Promoted

    UBank

    2.59% p.a. variable

    2.59% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    UHomeLoan - Discount Offer

    Enjoy a super low rate, $0 fees and easy application with the Mozo Experts Choice Home Lender Bank of the Year.^ Free redraw with flexible repayments. Min 20% deposit.

    • 2.59% p.a. variable

    • 2.59% p.a.

    • $0

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • $0

    • 80.00%

    • $200,000

    • -

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the UHomeLoan - Discount Offer

  • Promoted

    Hot Deal $2000 cashback offer for eligible refinancers when you switch

    Commonwealth Bank

    2.29% p.a.
    fixed 2 years

    3.99% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Fixed Rate Home Loan Wealth Package

    Enjoy the security of a 2 year fixed rate. No establishment or ongoing fees. Be rewarded with a $2000 bonus for refinancers when you switch before August 3, 2020 (T&Cs apply). $150,000 loan minimum.

    • 2.29% p.a.
      fixed 2 years

    • 3.99% p.a.

    • $200

    • $395.00 yearly

    • $350.00

    • yes - free up to $10,000 p.a.

    • no

    • no

    • $200

    • 95.00%

    • $150,000

    • -

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    • $2,000 cashback for refinancers with applications before 3 August 2020 and have their loan funded by 9 October 2020. Minimum refinance amount $250,000.

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Fixed Rate Home Loan

  • Promoted

    HSBC

    2.09% p.a.
    fixed 2 years

    2.98% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Fixed Rate Home Loan

    Have the security of a fixed rate for 2 years with the option to split with one of the HSBC variable Home Loans. No ongoing monthly service fees or annual fees. Mozo Experts Choice Fixed Home Loan 2020^

    • 2.09% p.a.
      fixed 2 years

    • 2.98% p.a.

    • $0

    • $0.00

    • $300.00

    • yes - free up to $10,000 p.a.

    • no

    • no

    • $0

    • 80.00%

    • $50,000

    • $7,500,000

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Fixed Rate Home Loan

  • Promoted

    Athena

    2.59% p.a. variable

    2.55% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Variable Home Loan

    Fast online application with no fees. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Min 30% deposit. Crowned Best New Home Loan for 2020 by the Mozo Experts.^

    • 2.59% p.a. variable

    • 2.55% p.a.

    • $0

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • $0

    • 70.00%

    • $100,000

    • $2,000,000

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

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

*WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for the amount and term you entered.

**Initial monthly repayment figures are estimates only, based on the advertised rate, and a loan of $500,000 repaid over 25 years. Rates, fees and charges and therefore the total cost of the loan may vary depending on your loan amount, loan term, and credit history. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

Mozo may receive advertising fees from the financial institutions, issuers of financial or credit products and third party advice providers that are shown on this page. These fees are based on a cost per click, cost per acquisition, or a fixed fee.