When browsing through Craigslist housing ads, do you disregard anything that doesn’t have a picture icon to the side of the title? Do you wish they’d let the sellers upload more than 4 pictures so that you could just have a better look before you have to make a trip to a house that could be a small trailer for all you know? Well, me too. Nothing frustrated me more during my house hunt than to find the perfect description of a house, only to later find out that it was a hundred years old and slowly falling apart as I stood in it.
What’s Better Than Pictures?
More pictures! And videos! And more pictures! Virtual real estate tours are the pinnacle of online house hunting. I honestly wish that every real estate company would actively incorporate these tours into their websites so that I needn’t have wasted so much of my time on page after page of lists of houses with no clue into what they were actually like!
What are Virtual Tours?
A property owner can go to the location, take a comprehensive series of photos, and then put them up online in the form of a tour. I would describe it as a geographically accurate slide show. Think Google Maps, but in a house! After the photos are taken, they are assembled so that you can get a 360 view of any room you’re in, or sometimes even click to travel from room to room. On top of this, many virtual tours offer videos to give you a real feel of what it’s like to walk around the property and map locations should you want to go visit or simply do a drive-by.
The Real Benefits
Regular photographs put into real estate are often shot at certain views to hide unsightly aspects of the property. An ugly paint color, a grungy carpet, sometimes even something as obvious as a big hole in the wall! They’re also shot to give you a misrepresented feel of the size. Wide-angle lenses can make a 10×10 room look 15×15. With the virtual tours, the shots are typically taken from the center of the room allowing you to spin in any direction, giving you a perfect view of every wall and a much more accurate feel for the space available.
Where Do I Find Virtual Real Estate Tours!
Typically, the tour is shot by the home owner or possibly the real estate agency handling the property, so you can often find them on whatever individual sites they advertise on. They have gotten so popular though, that many sites such as homes.com will allow you to actually sort by properties that provide virtual tours and most others have them built into their websites to some extent.