The COVID-19 pandemic changed many aspects of the real estate industry. In-person showings became very sparse and were discouraged from real estate boards around the country. While in-person showings can now resume, many real estate agents are utilizing virtual open house tours to limit exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic while still giving home buyers a better idea what a property has to offer without hosting a regular open house.
A virtual home tour is an online option that allows home-buyers to view properties for sale. They use applications such as video conferencing programs to see the many features, the layout, and the condition of the home. Generally, the real estate agent still arrives at the home and walks around, showing the buyers what they want to see and giving them as close to an in-person experience as possible.
One of the most popular forms of a virtual home tour is when you schedule a one-on-one showing with your real estate agent. He or she will host a video call with you, and only you, to view the home. This allows you to more easily ask questions, look at very specific aspects of the home, etc.
Another popular virtual tour is one that is posted with the listing. As listing photos are captured, the real estate agent may record a virtual tour of the home, better demonstrating the layout of the property, some of the home's key features, etc. This allows house hunters to better know if a home is for them before they even speak with a REALTOR®.
Virtual open houses are also an option to help sellers and buyers limit exposure but to still ensure the property can easily be viewed. Virtual open houses are similar to one-one-one showings but you may utilize technology such as Zoom or Facebook Live where 10 or more individuals may be on the call at once.
While virtual home tours can help limit exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic, many additional benefits make this option worth considering. These options include:
Out-of-town buyers will not have to make a special trip to see your home. Rather, they can schedule a virtual showing to view the many features and characteristics that a home has to offer.
Virtual home tours, particularly recorded tours that you publish with your listing, help you more easily reach buyers. It helps your home gain more exposure and it can limit in-person showings to individuals who are truly interested in your property.
Many individuals may shy away from the idea of a virtual home tour because it sounds difficult or overwhelming. However, it can be a fast and simple process. You will want to use technology that both the real estate agent and the buyers are familiar with and make sure the agent knows what you expect prior to starting.
Keep in mind that once you have found a home that you love and are considering placing an offer on, a virtual home tour will not suffice. You want to schedule an in-person tour of the home. This allows you to view every inch of the property and to detect potential issues that wouldn't appear on the camera such as odours.
It is important that you feel safe no matter if you are selling, buying or viewing properties for sale. Talk to your real estate agent for more ideas on how to make the real estate transaction a smooth, enjoyable, and safe experience.
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