In today’s ever-evolving real estate market, virtual home showings have become an essential tool for home buyers in the Bay Area. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the need for contactless interactions and remote viewing options has skyrocketed. Virtual tours and showings offer convenience and flexibility and allow you to explore potential homes while ensuring your safety.
While nothing can replace the experience of physically walking through a house, virtual showings have proven to be a game-changer in the industry. To help you make the most of this virtual experience, we have compiled a list of five best practices for home buyers like you. These strategies will ensure you comprehensively understand the property and the neighborhood and ultimately help you make an informed decision.
1. Familiarize Yourself with the Floor Plan
One of the biggest challenges of virtual showings is the inability to navigate the property physically. To overcome this hurdle, asking for a floor plan ahead of the virtual tour is essential. A floor plan visually represents the home’s layout, room sizes, and overall flow. Your realtor should be able to provide you with a detailed floor plan that will help you better understand the property’s structure.
Having a floor plan at your disposal, you can use it as a reference during the virtual tour. Pay attention to room dimensions, ceiling heights, and the overall arrangement of the house. This will give you a better perspective on the property and help you visualize how your furniture and belongings might fit in the space.
Additionally, use the floor plan as a checklist during the virtual tour to ensure that you and your Bay Area agent have explored every part of the home. This will ensure that no area goes unnoticed and that you understand the property comprehensively.
2. Ensure Your Technology is Ready
Before embarking on a virtual showing, ensuring that your technology is up to the task is crucial. While you don’t need to be a tech expert, simple preparations will ensure a smooth and uninterrupted virtual tour experience.
Start by making sure that your computer or smartphone is fully charged. The last thing you want is for your device to die before an important showing. Additionally, check your network connection and ensure it is stable and strong. Uninterrupted video streaming is vital for a seamless virtual tour.
If you are using video conferencing apps like FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype, double-check that you have the correct links and access codes. Test the apps beforehand to familiarize yourself with the user interface and ensure you know how to navigate the features.
By taking these simple steps, you can eliminate any potential technological hiccups and make the most out of your virtual showing experience.
3. Ask the Right Questions
While virtual showings offer a wealth of information, certain details may be challenging to capture through a screen. To compensate for this limitation, asking your agent the right questions during the virtual tour is crucial. Feel free to ask even more questions than you would during an in-person showing.
Start by focusing on aspects that may not be easily visible on camera. Inquire about the quality of natural light in each room and the overall noise levels within the house. Ask about any peculiar odors or potential maintenance issues that may not be apparent virtually.
Don’t forget to explore often-overlooked areas such as the laundry room, garage, and storage spaces. Request a visual tour of the home’s exterior and curb appeal to understand the property completely.
By asking the right questions, you can gather valuable insights and ensure that you comprehensively understand the property’s condition and suitability for your needs.
4. Take a Virtual Test-Drive of the Neighborhood
When searching for your dream home in the Bay Area, it’s not just the property that matters; the surrounding neighborhood also plays a crucial role. While physically exploring the neighborhood may be challenging due to the pandemic, you can still gain valuable insights virtually.
Start by utilizing Google Street View via Google Maps. This feature lets you virtually walk through the streets and get a feel for the neighborhood’s ambiance. Take note of nearby amenities, parks, and schools. Look for signs of a well-maintained and vibrant community.
Also, check if the neighborhood has local publications or community social media groups. These resources can provide valuable information about upcoming events, activities, and community spirit. Contact your realtor and ask if they can provide a video tour of the neighborhood or include it in the virtual showing.
By conducting a virtual test drive of the neighborhood, you can better understand the area’s suitability for your lifestyle and preferences.
5. Request a Recorded Video of the Showing
Virtual showings can be overwhelming, and missing out on essential details during the live tour is easy. To ensure that you have a comprehensive record of the showing, request your agent to provide a recorded video of the virtual tour.
Access to a recorded video allows you to revisit the showing at your convenience. You can review specific areas of the property and note any features of particular importance to you. This is especially helpful if you experienced any network or connection issues during the live tour, ensuring you don’t miss out on any crucial information.
The recorded video is a valuable resource when deciding and helps you validate the details you observed during the virtual showing. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the property and visualize yourself living there.
Virtual home showings have revolutionized the way buyers explore potential properties. By following these five best practices, you can maximize your virtual showing experience and gain a comprehensive understanding of the property and its surroundings. Familiarize yourself with the floor plan, ensure your technology is ready, ask the right questions, take a virtual test drive of the neighborhood, and request a recorded showing video. These strategies will empower you to make an informed decision and find the perfect home, even in these unprecedented times.
So, embrace the new era of virtual home showings and embark on your journey to find your dream Bay Area home from the comfort and safety of your own couch.