For the past ten years well before COVID-19 kept us at home, I have been looking at Real Estate virtually. The photography is amazing and it gives me lots of great ideas for colour and decorating.
The advantage of the ‘virtual viewing’ are enormous. For a start it saves driving all over the city for inspections, and if you know the suburb well, you will have a very good idea whether you want to go and inspect the house in person or whether you have seen enough ‘on line’.
This is not only saving time for the prospective purchaser, but also for the agents who operate on a very tight schedule.
Over the years I have become adept at picking up where the faults are. For instance the bathroom is not featured in the photographs, so this is an area where there are possibly problems and may need renovation. Same with omission of the kitchen, it will certainly need work.
‘Nearly deceased estate’ will mean total renovation.
For many years on the first day of an open for inspection, all the neighbours come through mainly out of curiosity. I experienced this last year first hand, when selling a beautiful old home and the first two inspections about 50 people came through each time. Not only do they come through but they let their children touch things, and none of them were buyers. The poor agent is so busy that he can’t watch them all. This drives me mad and I couldn’t subject myself to it again, but was assured at the time that this was the only way. I now know it isn’t the only way and that the current change is for the better. The photography is so good now that people will get a reasonable idea from pictures and floor plan whether it is suitable.
The major disadvantage is that using the single viewing method it may take longer to get a buyer. But if we go into a downturn it will take longer anyway, and the agent will get a sale eventually. There are always houses that take longer to sell even in a normal market.
The restrictions and social distancing are hard for the agent to accommodate, but will ultimately be very beneficial as they can focus on certain buyers and it will eliminate people who just go and look because they can. It actually cuts out all the people who have no intention of buying and have just been treating the open for inspections as an outing. So with the qualified buyer coming through the agent will be able to spend more time with them and if the house is not suitable he will have a greater idea of their needs. He may even have another house coming up that will possibly meet their criteria. So in a lot of ways this type of viewing is a ‘win win’ situation and may change the way that Real Estate is marketed for ever.
Virtual viewing of Real Estate is getting better and better and the prospective viewer can always phone the agent and seek further clarification.
Given past experiences I can’t help hoping that the single viewings are here to stay.