Buying a Home Online: Virtual Showings

How Virtual Showings Help the Home Buying Process​

Due to COVID-19, everyone has had to change how we live life and operate businesses. The home buying process has also had to make some changes to maintain safety and social distancing. If you are looking to buy a home during this time, it is important to know how to navigate virtual showings.

Determining Online Listings for In-Person or Virtual Showings

Since we have gone mostly virtual with home buying, it is important to learn how to understand online listings. Before you decide to book an in-person viewing, determine if the home is good enough to seriously consider. Can this home be viewed online instead? To ensure that homes are good enough to view, work with a professional agent who can determine red flags in online home searches. Here are some red flags to look for while looking at online listings:

  • If there are more photos of the exterior than the interior, that could mean the inside needs some work.
  • Closed curtains or blinds could indicate a bad exterior view.​
  • If you notice that the pictures of the interior are stretched out, this could be the listing agents' attempt to make rooms look bigger.​
  • The term “fixer-upper” is not always positive and could imply a money pit instead of a great investment.​

Online listings are a great way to get a feel for the house before you view it in-person. They can also pinpoint the problems that the house has that may not be something you can handle or afford.

Virtual Showings​

Virtual showings are the new normal in the days of COVID-19. The real estate industry had to adapt quickly to the virus, which is why virtual home tours have become popular among real estate agents. If you notice that a listing either does not have a video or has a short one, ask your agent if they can provide you with a more detailed virtual home tour. FaceTime is also helpful to maintain social distance yet still view the house you are interested in. On a virtual home tour, you can ask your agent to show you specific features of the house and focus on little details that may be missed in a regular walkthrough. Agents can also give you a floor plan, so you know how big each room is inside the house.


A seller disclosure outlines any known problems with the home’s structure, as well as how old any improvements or various features are. Disclosures can help potential buyers decide if they want to move forward with putting in an offer on the home. Make sure to review home disclosures before moving forward.

Home Tour Precautions​

Despite the ongoing pandemic, you may have the option to view a house in-person instead of virtually. If the seller of the house you are interested in allows you to walk through their home, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself, your agent, and the house owner:

  • Ensure that no one in the for-sale household is sick and cancel if you feel sick yourself.
  • Always wear a mask in the homes you tour.
  • Do not touch the homeowner’s belongings.
  • Keep six feet from you and your agent while taking the tour.
  • Wash your hands once you leave the home.

Check Out the Neighborhood​

Once you toured the home in-person, take some time to walk around the neighborhood and get to know the area you could potentially be living in. The surrounding neighborhood is just as important as the house. You want to make sure you like the area and feel confident starting a life there. If you are unable to do an in-person showing, use Google maps as a great resource to view the neighborhood before you move in.

Living in the world of COVID-19 is difficult, but it does not have to ruin your home buying experience. Our team at HomeHunt can help you navigate the virtual world of homebuying. Contact us today to get started!

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