Home Tour, Social Distancing

A Quick Guide to Virtual Tours for Homebuyers or Renters

In unprecedented times like these, it’s important that adjustments are made to accommodate nationwide changes. School closures have been extended for the remainder of the year, work offices have closed indefinitely and a multitude of industries have been impacted by non-essential business closures.

Changes in the real estate industry will likely impact everyone at some point in their life. From consultations with agents, contractors, and brokers to touring open houses until you find your dream home, it’s become apparent that this industry relies heavily on in-person experiences. 

Homes.com wants to ease your hesitations around home buying or selling and provide resources to guide you through this new (and temporary) way of life. Our new virtual tour feature allows you to see every nook and cranny of the homes you’re interested in without having to leave your couch. The best part? It’s user-friendly interface makes touring the home virtually effortless and stress-free. If you want to have a guided tour by the agent, there’s the option to set up a virtual open house where they can walk you through the home and answer any questions you may have.

While virtual tours have increasingly become popular due to the restrictions in place, they’ll most likely become a permanent feature many homebuyers will opt to use in the future. But, when you’re completing a virtual tour of any property, there will be some questions you’ll need to ask the agent afterwards that will help you decide whether or not to move forward with that property.

Questions to Ask After a Virtual Tour

  1. What areas of the home will require maintenance? “When completing a tour in person, you can see everything you need to know about the home’s condition upon arrival,” says Jennifer McMurray, Executive Broker of McMurray & Associates. “While any items that require maintenance can be uncovered by a home inspector, you can usually get a feel for the home’s condition from the initial tour. Ask the agent if there are any noticeable spots throughout the home that will require updating, or, if there’s been recent repairs in the past year, ask if they were done ‘DIY’ or by a professional.”
  2. What are the ages of major appliances in the home? Furnaces, roofs and A/C units are all prime examples of appliances that can be expensive to replace or repair if they become defunct. While this information can be included in the listing details itself, if not, ask the agent.
  3. What are the room measurements?I think virtual tours, to be useful, should provide a 360° tour for the buyer, and bonus points if it also provides aerial views of a room,” says McMurray. “What may look like a large, spacious living room in a listing photo may, in fact, be a cramped space in real life, so asking for room measurements is critical to actually understanding the space entirely.”
  4. What are the quality of the materials? If the home has a new addition, has been refurbished, or is a new construction, make sure you’re aware what materials were used. Cheap flooring can easily be noticed in person, but virtually, not so much. It’s also important to know whether or not any additions or renovations were done professionally– if that’s important to you.

Want to put our virtual tours to the test? Check out this article where you can tour some of America’s most luxurious listings! If you’re interested in starting the buying, renting or selling process, visit Homes.com to find free, step-by-step guides that will walk you through the entire journey from start to finish.

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