By Lemor Abrams

AUBURN (CBS13) — With tight real estate inventory and hot competition, many buyers are making quick purchases to think about whether the home is the best fit for them.

Now, a real-estate startup is borrowing the concept of test drives and applying it to homes.

It’s that feeling of walking into a brand-new house and unlocking a new chapter in your life.

But Lori Smith isn’t unpacking for good.

“It’s a big commitment when you feel like you’re entering your last phase,” she said.

She’s trying out a beautiful Auburn home before taking out a mortgage. She’s living in the home with an outdoor kitchen, majestic pool and master bedroom and bathroom with no strings attached.

“I think any homebuyer serious about pulling the trigger will find that very beneficial,” said real estate agent Roger Perry.

Realstir connects sellers with serious potential buyers like Smith. She has to pay a fee to stay while the homeowner checks out and waits for a deal.

“We should all have that chance to take the car home for a day,” Perry said.

And if you still don’t want to take the plunge and commit to the home, you can test drive another.

“You want to see how the sunlight shines in through the window. You may want to see if the neighbor that has a Harley revs up at four in the morning,” said founder and CEO Walid Romaya.

With thousands of for-sale listings in the Northern California region alone, Smith isn’t sold just yet, and the search for a perfect home continues.

Realstir has a database of 1.6 million for-sale listings nationwide and hundreds in the greater Sacramento area.


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