I’m sure you’ve heard about virtual tours in real estate which is the latest and greatest way to view homes.  I’m going to let you know what they are and what they are not.

No More Nosy Neighbors

A virtual tour was created before Covid hit the United States and was originally intended to eliminate the real estate hobby-ists and nosy neighbors from coming to open houses or requesting showings which just wastes everyone’s time.  However when Covid arrived, it became very important to keep everyone safe, including buyers, who still wanted to buy a home and sellers who still wanted to sell their home!  What to do?

Well as everything started  happening on line, through face time and zoom it occurred to some genius that homes could be viewed remotely.  Enter the virtual tour!

2 Versions of the Virtual Tour

The virtual tour can be done in 2 ways. The listing agent can walk through the house using her iPhone or camera and narrate the video as she goes, explaining each room and it’s features.  She can open cabinets, closet doors and other storage areas and can zoom in on any features that need a closer look.

Or

The agent or a professional photographer can use a 360 degree camera in each room which rotates in one spot and shows every corner of each area.  Once uploaded as a continuous video, the agent can then narrate just as he or she did with the traditional tour.

To Virtual or Not to Virtual

What’s so good about a virtual tour?  It allows the buyer to sit on their couch and view a number of properties in a short amount of time.  No driving and no risk of infection.  With both tours they can still see all aspects of the home from the driveway, down the front path, into the front door and out through other doors into the yard.  Although the 360 degree tour doesn’t look into closets and cabinets it does allow you to see 90% of the home.

But is it all good?  What a virtual tour doesn’t do is allow you to see the quality of the carpet, the tile or the finish work, see the depth of the closet or cabinet, notice any flaws in the walls, floors or structure, or most importantly, check out the neighborhood and area amenities.

Can We Use Virtual Tours ONLY?

Can we use virtual tours exclusively?  Probably not.  But virtual tours are a great way to cross homes OFF your list and  bring up important questions to ask about the homes you ultimately want to see.