A virtual showing is typically requested when the buyer and buyer’s agent view the property but are not physically present at Los Cabos, Todos Santos, or La Paz. A virtual showing can come in many forms: Real-Time Video Showing: The showing is conducted using streaming video technology such as FaceTime, Google Duo, Zoom, GoToMeeting, Homerover app, etc.

Real Estate advisors embrace the new normal.

Imagine buying a home based solely on a virtual showing and a FaceTime tour your Real Estate Advisor from The Agency took you on. And by “took you on,” I mean you’re on your laptop having coffee while your Real Estate advisor walks the property you’re interested in, sharing its pluses and minuses via FaceTime. That’s just one of the innovative ways Real Estate advisors are embracing the new normal and helping people buy and sell homes safely.

This year taught the real estate industry that the vast majority of a transaction can actually be accomplished without face-to-face interaction. Paperless contracts and electronic signatures have been the norm for years already for the most part of the transaction. But buyers still viewed numerous homes in person before making a decision.  Typically, only relocation clients or second home shoppers saw homes via virtual showings.

The real estate market seems to be constantly evolving, and the way we tour homes is no exception. Over the past couple of years, one of the more popular changes in the industry has been virtual tours and showing of real estate versus in-person open houses. Virtual showings allow potential buyers to view a home through a video tour or showing, making it feel like they’re really walking through the house while sitting in the comfort of their home.

Six tips

1.    Know your must-haves and your nice-to-haves.

Sit down and create a checklist. How many bedrooms must the home have? What about closet space, layout, appliances, flooring, or other features? Write down all the requirements a house must meet to be the “one,” and then jot down a second section for those nice-to-haves things you’d like but are willing to forget if necessary. This will help you weed out homes faster and streamline your search.

2.    Make sure you have FaceTime, Google Duo, Microsoft Teams or Zoom downloaded.

These tools are non-negotiable when buying a house virtually. If you’re not going to tour a home in person, you need to somehow tour it via live video. Though pre-recorded video tours can be nice, going live with your showing can allow you to get more interactive with it. You can take your time, ask questions, and even request a little more attention to certain rooms or areas.

3.    Choose your agent wisely.

Not every agent is going to work well virtually. Some may not be well-versed in the latest technology or know how to handle virtual showings and closings. Others may simply be too busy to give you the more detailed guidance you’ll need when buying from far away. 

For these reasons, you’ll want to choose an agent from The Agency. Interview a few, read up on reviews and talk to them candidly about your goals to purchase a home virtually. Make sure your communication styles and schedule are going to sync up before moving forward.

It sounds simple, but the beauty of FaceTime is that you can get a better sense of the flow of the house.

For certain listings, some agents may be able to guide you through a home using a virtual showing device. Once you’ve decided which homes you want to see, let your agent schedule some showings.

4.    Inspect by a professional

The infrastructure of a house cannot be evaluated; the refrigerator could impersonate a steam engine. The kitchen sink pipe could leak water in the style of splash mountain. Only a home inspection or in-person home showing will reveal these flaws.

If you decide to buy a home based on a virtual showing, please ensure that it has been inspected by a professional and that you are satisfied with the results.

5. Ask the right questions.

You won’t be able to see a lot when touring a house virtually, so ask all the questions you can. What condition is the paint in? Could a 6-foot by 3-foot couch fit along that far wall? How is the natural light in the dining room? Get detailed, and ask your agent about things that can only be seen, felt, or heard by actually being on the property.

6. Do your research.

Reading a home’s listing is not enough. You should also look up a potential property’s flood, wildfire, and earthquake risk and use Google Street View to “walk” the neighborhood. You can also check the local county’s website for property records. These can give you a good idea of the property’s history and background.

One more step

Many companies offer e-closing and remote notary options as closing agents. You’ll want to shop around and be extra sure you’re choosing a partner who can offer the seamless virtual experience you’re looking for.

I can get your new home in the amazing Southern Baja/La Paz

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