San Diego homes get offers after FaceTime tours

San Diegans continue to face intense competition when trying to buy a home, but now, technology is helping people make quick offers on available homes.

Jim Herron used a FaceTime virtual tour to put an offer on his Pacific Beach condo.

"I had already made an offer on another place somewhere else and lost it because I got outbid," he said.

The supply of homes in San Diego is down 7 percent in the last year, according to the San Diego Association of Realtors. This is creating high demand for real estate.

Once Herron found out about the two-bedroom condo hitting the market in Crown Point, he knew he had to act fast.

"The iron was hot and I wanted to get into this place before a million people started making offers on it," he told 10News.

But there was one problem -- Herron wasn't in San Diego.

Enter realtor Nikki Mayer and her iPhone. She gave Herron and his mom a virtual FaceTime tour of the condo, from skylights to bathrooms, to closet space.

"It was within 45 minutes we had an offer in on the property," Mayer said.

Mayer noted four of her last eight buyers have made an offer after a FaceTime tour. She said it helps that they are already armed with key information.

"Five, 10 years ago, people couldn't pull up Zillow or Realtor.com," she said. "It wasn't something that was commonly done."

There are other ways to get a step ahead in San Diego's market, including getting preapproved for a mortgage and having a letter in-hand.

Mark Goldman, a real estate lecturer at San Diego State University, also said it's important to come in with a realistic offer price, based on comparable sales.

Herron ultimately got the condo for $659,000 cash, which was about $15,000 below asking price.

"A virtual tour got me a set of keys," Herron said. "It got me down here and I love it here."

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