Virtual Showings - What You Need to Know

Published on: October 21st, 2020 | Written by Jimmy Vercellino

Virtual showings have long been a useful way to show a property to people who couldn’t visit the location in person. Service members and other out-of-town buyers often use this strategy to narrow down their options during the home buying process.

Now, taking tours virtually has become more popular among other buyers and sellers for social distancing purposes. Newer technology has contributed to the effectiveness and growing interest in using visual showings to buy and sell houses.

As a home buyer or seller today, knowing what to expect with virtual showings helps you get the most benefits from this innovative technology.

Types of Virtual Showings

Virtual showings can take very different forms. Each type provides specific benefits that aid in finding a home.

A 3D tour is one that you might have come across before. This type of tour involves taking photos of different parts of the house. Then, these images are put together using software that creates a 3-dimensional tour of the property.

Once the tour is created, it can be uploaded to an online real estate listing. Prospective homebuyers can then take self-navigated tours through the house. This is often one of the first tools buyers use to begin narrowing down their search. This option also comes with the benefit of returning to the showing for more information later.

A pre-recorded walkthrough is another way to show a house virtually. With this method, a real estate agent or homeowner records themselves walking through the house and showing off various features. This strategy works well for giving a tour to a broader audience.

Livestream tours and open houses limit the people attending in-person to just the real estate agent. Conducting the virtual tour in real-time allows buyers to communicate directly with the person giving the tour. Being able to ask questions is a significant benefit of using this type of virtual showing.

How to Prepare for an Online Tour

Virtual showings can feel like the real thing if they are done right. One drawback of this kind of tour is feeling confused about the overall layout of a house. You can counteract this issue by having a floor plan on hand before you begin the showing.

Real estate agents are often prepared to go the extra mile during these tours. Be ready to ask lots of questions that help you see how the house fits your preferences. If you ask during the tour, an agent might be able to measure wall space to make sure a piece of furniture will fit. Or, they can stand silently to let you listen to street noise.

When to Visit In-Person

Some buyers feel comfortable making an offer on a home from just the virtual showing alone. This may be your preference if you live far away or if the virtual presentation gave you all the information you need to make a decision.

You could also have the option of taking a final tour in person. Many sellers use virtual showings to reduce the number of people coming into their homes.

If you choose to have a final in-person showing, then be prepared to demonstrate proof that you are a strong candidate for buying. Many sellers are currently asking for documentation of a mortgage pre-approval before taking one the risk of having someone walk around their property.

Online home showings are expected to stay even after the pandemic is over. There is simply no way to top the convenience they offer to view homes from afar or when you are short on time. Knowing how to get the most from taking one helps you be better prepared for buying your next home.

Buyer Education