Following the global outbreak of COVID-19 earlier this year, many aspects of everyday life have been significantly altered or changed altogether. This includes the homebuying process which has seen huge developments in the last 9-months, with a notable reduction in the number of potential buyers who are attending property viewings in person. The result of which has been a huge rise in the number of Virtual Property Viewings. But how do these viewings work? How do you book one? Are they as reliable as seeing a property in person?
For the answers to all these questions and more, our team have put together the following informative article…
How do Virtual Property Viewings work?
There are a variety of different ways that Agents may conduct a Virtual Property Viewing, but for the most part these can be broken down into three main categories. This includes:
• 3-D Cameras – In some cases, Estate Agent’s will make use of special 3-D cameras that allow buyers to explore and traverse the property using a fully 360-degree, high-quality and interactive walk-through. These virtual spaces also allow the person viewing the property to view unique perspectives that they would not be able to access otherwise and in the exact order/route they wish to take.
• Videos and/or Photographs – More commonly, the Estate Agent will take a video of themselves walking around the property with the footage then being sent to viewers. Whilst this is less innovative and engaging than the 3-D Cameras, it does allow potential buyers to see the home in a more natural state.
• Video Conferencing Software – By making use of tools such as Zoom, WhatsApp, Face Time, Google Hangouts or Microsoft Teams, Agents can talk you through the property as if it were an in-person viewing. These have proved very popular with potential buyers because the Agent can clarify any issues or questions you may have about the home in real time.
How can I book a Virtual Property Viewing?
Once you know which Estate Agent’s you are going to use, we would advise that you contact them directly and ask about Virtual Viewings. This is because (as a new and emerging concept) the way that these viewings are conducted will vary between different realtors.
Therefore, it is best to have an in-principal discussion and found out which Virtual Property Viewing formats they can offer. However, there are certain companies which already feature either 3-D viewings and/or video tours to their listings (in addition to the standard photos) so it is always worth taking the time to research each company on their individual merits.
Should I purchase a home based on a Virtual Property Viewing?
Whilst we would generally advise that you attend the property in-person on at least one occasion before completely the transaction, a Virtual Property Viewing can be a great first step. This is because you may miss several important factors that should contribute to your decision on whether to purchase the property, including:
• Noise Pollution
• Local Amenities
• Transport Links
• Neighbours/Local Community
By initially viewing a range of properties during virtual appointments you can quickly and easily refine your search down to the best options – arranging a physical inspection later down the line.
What is the future of Virtual Property Viewings?
Although our ability to attend in-person viewings is currently limited by the COVID-19 pandemic, many in the industry think it is likely that virtual technology will form the basis of future home viewings.
By allowing a greater number of people to assess the home and do so at their own convenience, Estate agents believe that they can potentially save hours of work booking in clients and individually showing them the property in question.
Some even suggest that there will be a time where you will be able to walk into an Estate Agents office and put on a Virtual Reality headset and view several different homes – one after another.
If you are moving home in the coming months and require impartial advice on your best course of action, please do not hesitate to contact our team of experts for an in-principal discussion.
Simply give us a call on 01249 444465 or drop us an email via .
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