The stats for virtual tours speak for themselves, with real estate listings getting 87% more views when they have a virtual tour vs. those with photos only. Potential buyers, especially those searching for a home out of state, find great benefit in virtual home tours when buying. In fact, with virtual tours increasing in popularity, many home buyers want a virtual tour when looking at a listing.
While virtual home tours can help boost the interest in homes for sale, there are other pros and cons when using the tool to market your property or make your purchase decision. Before jumping into the benefits and pitfalls of virtual home tours for home buyers, let’s look at what viewing a property from the comfort of your own home may mean.
What are the Different Types of Virtual Tours?
Many real estate agents incorporate virtual tours into their marketing toolbox when listing a property. However, a virtual property tour does not always mean a dynamic interpretation that allows buyers to feel like they just viewed the home in person. Understanding the different types of virtual home tours will ensure you know what to expect when encountering a virtual tour for properties during your online search.
With this type of virtual tour, still photos of the home are used to create a video to allow buyers to navigate the photographs easier.
A video virtual tour can either be a pre-recorded video of the walk-through of home or a live video, such as FaceTime or Zoom. In either case, the real estate agent does a property tour as you would experience when touring the home in person to allow you to get more natural movement through the house. When doing a live virtual tour with your agent, you’ll be able to communicate with them during the walk-through, allowing your agent to give you a closer look at areas or features you may want to view and answer your questions in real-time.
A 3-D virtual tour gives homebuyers the ultimate flexibility to get a feel for the home. Using specialized tools and software, photos of the house are taken and combined to create an immersive home tour to give potential buyers 360-degree views of each room and allow them to virtually navigate the home’s floor plan.
Virtual Home Tour Pros
Now that you have a better understanding of what exactly a virtual home tour is, let’s dive into how it can benefit homebuyers in today’s market.
While fantastic listing pictures can offer a great representation of the property, it does not always mean you’ll get the same impression when viewing the home. A virtual tour allows potential buyers a better look at the home’s flow and gives them a preview of the place before opting for an in-person tour, saving them and their agent time if it’s not a good fit. Virtually viewing homes can help eliminate properties that aren’t a good fit and focus on options that will work better for you and your family.
For out-of-state buyers, it’s not always feasible to make it into the area to view new listings before they receive one or multiple offers. Therefore, a virtual home tour can allow them the opportunity to see homes that fit their criteria and feel more confident making an offer without viewing the property in person.
Narrow Your Options
Whether you’re just starting the home buying process or actively searching, virtual property tours can help you narrow down what you’re really looking for in your next home. If you’re not sure of the features you’ll need, virtual tours can allow you to see the different home types in the location you’re searching to help you figure out the must-have and undesirable elements in a house. This will allow you to whittle down your list of potential homes and help you more efficiently explain what you want to your real estate agent.
Virtual Home Tour Cons
While virtual home tours can help simplify your home search, it’s important to consider these cons before making your final decision.
It Can’t Completely Replace an In-Person Visit
While technology has grown tremendously in recent years, it can’t replace the same sensory experience of visiting a home in person. Even the most advanced virtual home or neighborhood tours will not allow you to experience the area’s vibe or what it’s like to regularly commute to and from the property. A virtual tour also lacks the ability for buyers to see small details, such as floorboard creaks or carvings in the beautiful backyard tree.
Video and Screen Quality Can Impact Buyer’s Initial Impression
Technology and videos are helpful when purchasing a home, but it’s important to remember that everyone may not see virtual home tours the same due to the video or device’s screen quality. A low-quality video can give potential buyers the wrong first impression when viewing the home virtually. While listing agents can ensure high-quality videos and 3-D tours are available for online buyers to access, there’s no way to control how the viewers watch the video. Therefore, potential buyers may not get an accurate look at the colors or lighting throughout the home with only a virtual tour.
Although virtual home tours are a beneficial tool in your buying and selling experience, they usually cannot replace traditional in-person tours. If you have additional questions about virtual home tours or how they can help in your real estate transaction, let us know. We are happy to answer your questions, and if you’re ready to view your favorite home picks in person, contact us to help guide you through the homebuying process.