Virtual home tours became wildly popular as COVID cases began to rise. It allowed for buyers to still feel as if they could see the home, without risking extra exposure and limiting the number of people that would be entering into the seller’s home. While a virtual tour (generally from your agent) is indeed a great alternative to simply reviewing listing photos, there are a few things you need to know. There is only so much you can see through a screen and thus, you need to have a strong understanding of what a virtual tour could be hiding and ensure to ask your agent the proper questions regarding the property.
We often rely on all our senses to help us gauge if we like a home, and unfortunately when it comes to a virtual tour, you really only have one, sight. Because of this, make sure to ask these questions:
How does the house smell?
You would be amazed at how much you rely on your senses, unfortunately with virtual home tours you’re missing a big one, your sense of smell. First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure there aren’t any odors in the home. Likewise, if the home smells heavily of air freshener or candles, there may be an odor the seller is trying to mask. Ask your realtor to sniff around, literally, ensuring that there is no smell of mold, mildew, pets, gas, etc.
Is the neighborhood loud?
Even if the house looks and smells great, it might not sound great. Is it close to an airfield, freeway, or train station? All of these could be accompanied by unpleasant noises, whether a train horn in the middle of the night, landing planes, traffic and road noises, etc. Likewise, how does the neighborhood sound? Are kids laughing and riding their bikes? Neighbors arguing? Loud music?
Understanding the noise levels surrounding the home allows you to get an understanding of how well you’ll be able to enjoy the home. For in person tours you’ll find seller’s can often try to drown out surrounding noise with white noise, however when it comes to virtual home tours, sound is even easier to mask.
What condition are the appliances in?
Appliances are not only seen as a necessity, but they can also be quite costly to replace. Even if the exterior of an appliance looks as if it’s in good condition, have your agent inspect the appliances to get an overall idea of what type of condition they are in. Are they new? In good used condition? Do they need to be replaced? Asking these questions allows you to budget accordingly and might help you avoid purchasing a home only to find that the kitchen needs a mini makeover right after moving in.
Do you see any red flags?
This is why you always want to hire an agent you can trust. Ask for your agents’ true opinion. Are there any red flags? Do they see something worrisome? Your agent should know the basics of a home, and thus, what to look for within, this may just be what protects you from purchasing a lemon of a house.
If you’re currently searching for a new home whether through virtual home tours or in person, are ready to sell your home and need a qualified seller’s agent to assist you, or if you have any further questions regarding Arizona Real estate, please feel free to contact or office at any time.