by Deborah Rutter
If you are in a position to purchase, you are likely thinking about the house looking process in a very different way these days. There are so many ways to see properties without actually BEING there—here’s an overview of the options and where they fit into your buying process!
Ten years ago, a few lousy pictures cut it. Not anymore. Savvy listing agents know more pictures, from more angles, in more places are better, and professional, well-lit, and staged picture are even better still! Pictures shouldn’t be underrated. Good pictures may be all that folks can access with poor internet service. These are also easy to make bigger on a screen, turn into PDFs, etc. There is a lot of flexibility with pictures!
We’ve all seen these…the pictures taken but then just “stitched” together to create a short video that brings a little life to the pictures. These are great for adding text, creating a bit of flow from room to room, and are a bit easier on bandwidth than full video for internet-challenged households.
Recorded Video Walk-through Tour
This is a tour from a photographer or agent that is captured for use via a link. These are great, especially if they are narrated! They can show flow, room layouts, outside, and inside space via windows and doors. These are easy to share with others via a link and can be saved.
LIVE Video Walk-Through Tour
These can be created by an agent to share live on social media channels, or individually for specific buyers by appointment. These allow for questions, and for stopping and chatting about specific options, features, or potential issues. They can be longer or shorter depending on needs, and allow an occupied property to be seen with just one person inside versus multiple people for each showing.
2D tours are less about people-centered tours than options to explore flow, layout, understanding how rooms fit together, what is on each level, etc. These are links that are typically hosted by a third party and included in social media, emails, public MLS sites, etc. These are powerful tools that can augment still-shot video or pictures alone. Common versions are Matterport and Vpix360.
3D/Virtual Reality Tours
These are most common with new construction, where a complete digital rendering for a potential property is created and buyers use special glasses or headwear to virtually “walk” through a property.
There are a lot of options! Not every option is available for every property depending on the budget of the listing agent, the property needs, or the seller’s needs and consideration. But as first-pass options in home purchasing become increasingly less personal (at least to start), there are a lot options that can bridge that gap—no doubt with more to come!
Deborah Rutter is an Associate Broker at Nest Realty with passion for teaching. She knows buyers and sellers make the smartest decisions for themselves when they are armed with data and insight. She has taught first-time homebuyer education classes, and is a featured contributor on our blog.