Virtual home tours are, so far, the best alternatives to traditional open houses, given the conditions brought about by COVID-19. You are most likely to find – and use – these tools if you are in the market for a new home at this time.
Before engaging in virtual home tours, these real estate tips for buyers can be your handy guide in maximizing their benefits to your home buying plans:
Do your research
As with regular open houses, it helps to learn all you can about a house in advance. The easiest way to do this is to visit the seller’s page and go through all information regarding the home for sale, including posted photos and videos. Take note of items or areas you’ll want to take a closer look at during the virtual tour like the roof’s condition or the quality of the furniture. If the house is relatively near, you can also drive to the neighborhood to get a feel of it and figure out if it’s right for you.
Request for a floor plan
When a house is large, there may be some difficulty figuring out its layout via a pre-recorded or live video. To remedy this, request the sellers or their agent for a floor plan of the house. This floor plan can help determine your location as you’re being guided around each area of the home during the tour. Some floor plans may also show the measurements of each room, giving you a better spatial grasp. You can print it out so you can have a copy where you can write down essential notes.
Test the software beforehand
Before the actual tour, you’ll want to get familiar with the software the seller will be using. There are some tours conducted on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, while others are done using downloadable apps like Zoom or Skype. Thus, it would be prudent to have a good handle on the specific software used to avoid any digital mishaps. You can also ask your real estate agent to lend you a hand in maneuvering the controls of the virtual home tour.
No matter what kind of home you’re touring, it’s important to view it with a critical eye. If the tour is being streamed live, questions are usually welcome. Take the opportunity to ask if you can take a closer look at a particular room or to request that some appliances be tested. For recorded tours, keep a pen and paper handy in case you have questions you’ll want to ask later. You can even have your real estate agent reach out to the sellers for you as soon as possible.
Work with a real estate agent
When you have a real estate agent by your side, rest assured that your odds of finding and securing a deal on a home go up significantly. They have access to Multiple Listing Service (MLS) information that will help you to discover homes. They can also fill you in on neighborhoods you might be interested in. On top of that, they’re professionals at the negotiating table, so you can rest easy knowing you can get a stellar deal.
Virtual home buying in or around Denver, CO but don’t know where to start? Work with me, Anne Dresser Kocur, and I guarantee that we can find the perfect home for the perfect price in no time.