Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a drastic change in the real estate industry. One of the most prominent change was the change in the house viewing process. Gone were the days when potential buyers would go house to house to view properties; and those days of open houses very essentially over. Thanks to the pandemic, virtual viewings became the new way to view houses. From video tours to live videos, and of course 360-degree tours of the property, potential buyers can now view properties from the comfort of their homes. Without requiring any estate agents, potential buyers could now enjoy free online property viewing while sitting in their living room. But there was one drawback; virtual viewing was never the same as stepping into a new home and walking around. However, since virtual viewings have now become a thing of the present, and the future, it is time to embrace the change. This detailed buying guide will help you shortlist the best houses using virtual viewing!
Have an eye for the details
When it comes to virtual viewing, it’s all about the details. Sellers could stage their houses and move things around in such a way that the property looks absolutely flawless on video. But, you as a potential buyer needs to keep your eyes open for the minute details. Zoom into every nook and corner just to make sure that everything is in order. If you’re viewing the property through a live video with a real estate agent, ask the agent to move things around to check for any damages. Ask them to turn taps on and off to check for any leaky faucets and to also check under rugs and behind paintings to ensure there is no dampness or mould.
Understand the floor plan
A property could look much bigger or much smaller on video, depending on the layout and the decor. So, make sure you go through the floor plan carefully before you even start looking at the property. Once you have understood the floor plan, you will know exactly how big or small each room is. Also, you will be able to understand measurements distances, for example, the distance between the kitchen and the living room or the total measurement of the master bedroom. Once you have a look at the floor plan, you will get a fair idea of the layout which will help you determine whether or not this property meets the requirements on your checklist.
Take a look outside
It is very important that you view the house from outside too. Is the paint peeling off the walls? Is there any sign of dampness? Does the roof have loose tiles? Are the gutters leaking? By noticing such things, you will be able to tell whether or not this property has any damage. If your real estate agent cannot arrange a virtual tour of the outside, you can always find the property on Google Maps. Then, using the satellite view feature you can zoom in to the property and have a look at the exteriors. Even the street view option of Google Maps will help you get an idea of what the neighbourhood is all about.
Opt for 3D viewing, whenever possible
One of the best things about viewing properties in 3D is that you feel like you’re literally inside the property. It’s the closest you’ll get to walking into an actual home and walking around the property! A 3D view shows you everything about the property, the good, the bad and the ugly. So, if there is a large stain on the couch or there are cracks in the wall, you will easily be able to see it when you are viewing properties in 3D. Similarly, if there are intricate carvings in the ceilings or there is a marble fireplace, you will easily be able to see that too. Also, 3D viewing usually has a measurement feature that can help you determine space and size; so, if you’ve been wondering whether or not the brand new sofa in your living room will fit into this new property, the 3D measurement tool will give you an answer!
Ask all the nosy questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. How long has this property been on the market? How many times has the property changed hands in the last 20 years? Why are the current owners moving out? Has the property undergone any major improvements? When was the last time the plumbing was fixed? What is the neighbourhood like? How far is the closest supermarket? Make sure to ask all the questions that are on your mind, because that is the only way to ensure that the property you are viewing actually fits your criteria.