With modern digital house hunting, we have so much more control from the beginning of a house hunt. The days are gone when you used to have a few options to choose from and required your physical presence or a photograph from an agent to acknowledge. Now, we can search, find, and even purchase a house really quickly.
So, what should we keep in mind as we hunt for a home in such a fast-moving landscape? We’re glad you asked—here are our thoughts.
What is Virtual House Hunting
In the era of technology, where everyone relies on the internet, it is paramount to make it a smooth and straightforward process for buyers to conduct a virtual tour of their dream home, and that’s where Digital house hunting comes to the rescue.
Using Digital House Hunting, a person can view their dream house through a 360-degree walkthrough and three-dimensional view, providing personal exposure to the interior and exterior of the house. This tour can be conducted through a laptop, computer, tablet, smartphone, and other devices.
Benefits of Digital House Hunting
Every development has its pros and cons, and so does virtual house hunting. Here we will discuss some benefits of it.
- Convenience – Virtual house hunting is more convenient than physically being present at the location. People can easily view the house according to their schedule in the form of a 3D video that represents the entire structure of the house. Alternatively, a virtual video call can be conducted to see the interior and exterior of the property.
- Time-saving – You don’t have to visit a country to buy property there. You can do the same from the comfort of your home, saving both time and money.
- Expand the reach – In the virtual tour, you can easily view all the details related to the property and its owner, such as their past record and other information such as the nearest market, school, playground, business hub, etc.
- Provide real-time experience – Digital tours add multimedia, digital, and VR effects to the property, increasing the authenticity and naturalism of buyers.
- Augment brand recognition – Using VR and other graphics can boost your brand reputation and differentiate your company from others. It can generate more traffic to your website and increase engagement there.
In spite of all these benefits, virtual house hunting has many consequences that we have discussed below.
Difficulties During Digital House Hunting
- If you want to buy a furnished property, it is not possible to check the quality of the furniture, its condition, or any breakage on a video call.
- Graphics and multimedia effects are used to make the virtual tour visually appealing and attractive. However, in many cases, buyers do not get the same property they were expecting because VR creates an effect that buyers do not experience in reality when they visit the property.
- On a digital tour, it is not possible to communicate with neighbors to obtain information about the property, locality, facilities, etc.
- You cannot check the lighting and amenities online, and for the final payment, you still have to visit the location.
Therefore, move toward the dos and don’ts of digital house hunting.
Do: Use Saved Searches Strategically
Most real estate apps and websites will allow you to save your most important parameters, such as the number of bedrooms and the presence of a two-car garage. Every time a property comes available that fits your alert or saved search, you’ll get a notification, either a push notification or an email.
If you make a habit of reviewing these regularly, you can be one of the first people to see excellent new properties on the market, all without obsessively scrolling and searching. You’ll also be able to use saved searches created by your real estate agent.
Don’t: Rely on Online Photos Only to Make an Offer
While tools like 3D tours or walkthroughs of homes can make it feel like you’ve actually seen the home itself, there’s really no replacement for actually visiting the home you’re going to buy. Even if you managed to fall completely in love with a house online, you’d want to do what you can to get to a showing.
Many real estate agents understand if you are shopping from far away and simply cannot get to a showing fast enough to place an offer – in that case, your agent is your advocate and your eyes.
Many will take a tour of the home themselves, videoing their view as they go and telling you what they are noticing and feeling about the home as they move through it. This gives you an additional layer above the perfect-looking pictures that can help you make your choice.
Do: Expand Your Categories If You’re Not Finding Much
Many people become focused on getting a very specific home, putting in parameters like square footage, decks or balconies, particular sizes of garages, etc. While these things are nice to get exactly the way you want them, they are often a bad reason to exclude homes that are being listed, especially if you aren’t getting many options and need to move soon. Focus on your absolute deal breakers and create much wider open searches before you throw in the towel on online house hunting.
Don’t: Work Alone – an Agent Brings Valuable Context
Agents aren’t just there to send you listings, though they will do that electronically, and that can be very helpful. Rather, they can provide context about the place where you are moving, valuable comparisons to other recent sales to help you place a competitive offer, and excellent rapid guidance as you move through the paperwork and submit an offer.
Doing any one of these things through your own research would take hours and hours of time, more than the house is even available if it is in high demand. Let an agent help you make this process seamless.
Do: Your Own Research
Whether you are hiring a broker or an agent to get all the details about the property, it is still important to conduct your own research. Perhaps the broker forgot to mention specific facts about the location, so it is essential to verify everything firsthand after getting all the details from a third party.
Don’t: Forget that Appearances are Often Misleading
We all remember the idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover,” which implies the same as “don’t judge a house by its design.” To not miss out on anything, it is significant to conduct a house tour that includes everything from the outside to the inside. Sometimes, we love the design, floor plan, etc., which misleads us from noticeable critical things like furniture, breakage, textiles, etc.
Do: Remember Your Budget
When deciding to buy a house, it is indispensable to prepare a budget and choose a house according to it. Otherwise, you will go out of your pocket.
Don’t be Shy When it’s Time to Buy
It is crucial to get an update about any changes that are being made to the property. Don’t be shy to ask about cooling, windows, bathroom space, bar area, insulation, smells, etc., before purchasing.
Do Check the Authenticity of the Property
Make it a priority to cross-check the legitimacy of the property’s license. Many times people are deceived into buying illegal land or houses, which later causes them trouble and losses.