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Virtual Property Tours 101: 9 Best Ways to Find Your Perfect Home Online

Maybe your new job requires you to relocate to Niagara Falls but you live miles away from the city and hence cannot physically tour properties. Or maybe you live in the same city but your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to physically view houses for sale in Niagara Falls. This is where “virtual property tours” come in as saviours for home buyers. 

When the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate companies like all industries were in a difficult position. They needed to find a convenient way to reach potential home buyers without any physical contact. It was then that the trend of virtual tours came into being.

A virtual property tour is like a digital replica of a physical property. Through this prop tech, you can seamlessly view and tour houses for sale in Niagara Falls on a computer or mobile. The addition of sound effects, narration, measurements, and more can create a truly immersive 3D viewing experience for home buyers.

So, is the virtual property tour still a trend post-pandemic? Also are there any tricks or hacks through which homebuyers can make the most of virtual property tours? 

Let’s explore all about virtual home tours below!

Is the Post-Pandemic World Still Embracing Virtual Property Tours?

3 years after the pandemic, virtual property tours still remain a norm for home buyers and sellers. If a homebuyer cannot take a first look at a property from the comfort of their sofa, they won’t likely be interested. 

  • Real estate listings with virtual property tours may sell 31% more quickly and for a higher price. 
  • Property listings featuring virtual tours attract 87% more homebuyers than listings without them.
  • 50% of home buyers won’t even bother considering a house for sale if the listing doesn’t have a 360-degree virtual tour. 

Here is how virtual property tours are benefitting home buyers in today’s real estate market –

  • Saves Time 

Have you already started touring homes for sale in Niagara Falls physically? Then, you may certainly know that it is quite a time-consuming process. You may end up wasting your time visiting countless properties that fail to tick your boxes. 

But, with a virtual property tour, you can easily find properties that meet your needs and expectations right from your home. This way, you can cherry-pick 3 to 5 houses that you like and then go to visit these properties physically with your Realtor. 

  • Take as Much Time as You Need

Picking out a home to live with your family is no easy decision. You need to make sure every corner and room of the house for sale in Niagara Falls matches perfectly with your lifestyle. 

Virtual property tours make it easier for home buyers to double-check every nook and corner of the house any number of times they like. There would be no home seller standing over your shoulders telling you how he is late for a meeting. You can even take a third or fourth trip to the master bedroom or kitchen without any fear of judgment. 

  • 24/7 Open House

A virtual property tour is like an open house whose door remains open to home buyers 24/7. You can tour the homes for sale in Niagara Falls at any time you like. You do not have to go through the hassle of keeping your calendar free for the property open house day. 

Tips and Tricks for Home Buyers to Make the Most of Virtual Property Tours

Virtual property tours, like all things, come with a catch. With a virtual property tour, you cannot actually experience the home vibe and what it will be like to live in the area. There are some details of the property that may skip your eye or won’t show up clearly on the screen.

Fortunately, there are some easy ways through which you can make the most of a virtual property tour –

  • Partner Up with an Expert Realtor

First up, join hands with an expert real estate agent who has prior experience guiding buyers through the process of touring houses for sale in Niagara Falls online. This professional must be able to show you around the property virtually, explaining all the details as if you were right there in person. 

  • Schedule a Private Virtual Property Tour with Your Realtor

Next, choose a convenient video platform with your Realtor for the virtual property tour such as Zoom or Skype. This will give you a chance to take a peek at every nook and corner of the property that may not been shown in the online listing photos.

NOTE – Do not settle for pre-recorded videos of the property that house sellers or agents may refer to you. These marketing videos are just to show homes for sale in Niagara Falls through rose-tinted glasses. 

  • Choose the Right Setting and Place for the Video Tour

Once you finalise a time and date for the virtual property tour, prepare for it accordingly. Make sure the place you are attending the video call is free from distractions, whether it is from your home or a cafe. Instead of relying on your mobile for the property tour, use bigger screen devices such as a laptop or TV for better visibility. Also, ensure that your internet connection is stable to seamlessly tour the property virtually without any interruptions and distractions. 

  • Make a Checklist to Use as a Reference During the Tour

Prepare a checklist while virtually touring houses for sale in Niagara Falls. In the list, pen down the must-have and deal-breaking features, number of rooms, neighbourhood factors, and budget. Use this checklist as a reference during the virtual property tour so you can seamlessly find the property of your dreams and needs. 

Throughout the virtual property tour, be ready to take notes and screenshots that you can reflect on and discuss later. You can also record the entire video tour or ask the Realtor to take photos and videos of certain corners of the house so that you can take a peek after the tour. 

  • Ask the Realtor to Check Odours and Noise

While shopping for homes for sale in Niagara Falls, homebuyers often look at how the property looks. But one essential factor that buyers often overlook is how the home smells. 

A bad odour can instantly turn a desirable property into not-so-desirable. Not only are certain odours irritating to the nose, but they are often hard to remove. So, ask your Realtor if the property has a pet odour or a must, mould, and mildew smell. 

Also, enquire the agent if there is a persistent noise both inside and outside the house. This is usually seen in properties located near a busy road or noisy neighbours. 

  • Do Not Just Rely on Photos, Ask for Measurements

The living room your Realtor showed in the virtual property tour may look spacious but in reality, could be below 150 sq. ft. Or the yard you were shown in the video call may seem large enough to fit a pool but may actually be not.

What we mean to say is that cramped spaces usually look vast and spacious virtually. This is why ask the Realtor for the detailed floor plan and measurements of each room of the property. 

  • Take a Look at the Home Foundation Virtually

Foundation problems are a real turn-off for home buyers. But spotting a foundation issue is not so easy, especially if you are touring houses for sale virtually in Niagara Falls. 

Hopefully, your Realtor will check the property’s foundation on your behalf. However, in case he skips to do so, ask him to check these things and show you too –

Outside the property:

  • Horizontal cracks in the foundation
  • Stair-step cracks in exterior bricks
  • The chimney is leaning away from the property
  • Dented stairs
  • Gaps above windows and doors

Inside the property:

  • Drywall showing cracks
  • Windows and doors not aligning properly or showing issues while opening and closing
  • Floors with a noticeable slant
  • Tiles displaying cracks
  • Gaps between walls and ceiling
  • Learn the Ins and Outs of the Systems Installed in the House

You may be planning to take a virtual close-up view of the HVAC, water heater, or security and alarm systems of the home for sale in Niagara Falls. But apart from looking make sure to ask about the system’s age and maintenance requirements. How long ago have all these systems been replaced? Are these systems still under warranty? Will the price of these systems be included in the home sale price?

Asking these questions during the virtual property tour will help you avoid unanticipated expenses in the future. 

  • Give a Quick Once-Over at the Neighbourhood

You know what Realtors say all the time when it comes to buying or renting a property – “Location, location, location.” The neighbourhood matters a lot when it comes to how satisfied you are in your new abode. It is the real deal-breaker or deal-maker factor for a home buyer. 

While it is difficult to know all about the neighbourhood when touring a property virtually, ask the Realtor whatever you can. Request him to show around the house for sale in Niagara Falls so you can see what is located close to the house. Learn about the crime rates, neighbourhood schools, commute facilities and other nearby amenities before listing the property on your top-5 list. 

So, Should You Buy a House Simply Based on a Virtual Tour?

No doubt, real estate technology has made things way more easier and convenient and virtual property tours are a true testament to this. They can provide a real-time view of your potential home even when you are miles away. However virtual property tours cannot provide the sensory experience you get when you physically visit a property. 

Virtual property tours can help you to rule-in and rule-out houses for sale in Niagara Falls. But they cannot help you accurately decide the “one” among all properties. 

So, use the tips listed above to take the best advantage of this real estate prop technology and make your home-buying search more convenient. Once you find the best house among the rest, physically walk around the property before signing the dotted line. 

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