How Real Estate Has Gone Virtual

By: Joshua Campbell

How Real Estate Has Gone Virtual

Tags: Real Estate, renting, buying, selling, real estate tips, residential, rent, Ontario, tenant, moving, virtual tours, technology in real estate, virtual home, staging, virtual staging

Purchasing a home or any new piece of property is a huge decision that should not be taken lightly. Fortunately, the advancement of modern technology is making this transaction possible during these uncertain times. Virtual tours for showcasing properties on the market have been around for years. But with the novel coronavirus forcing provinces to place hard limits and restrictions on their real estate sectors, many brokers are pivoting. They are turning to the virtual world now more than ever to sell houses to clients.
 
Right now, people are continually being persuaded by health officials to take advantage of the option of buying digitally. Does buying a home from the safety and comfort of your own home sound appealing to you? Well, this is now possible. In lieu of open houses that have been cancelled at large across the country, clients now have the opportunity to buy on cellphones, by looking at pictures, videos, and drone shots online. Digital signatures are proving to be a lot more convenient, too.  
 
Although this is all available to clients, the real question lingering across the minds of many is: Are people choosing to do this? Market evidence suggests not as many as we’d like to think.
Sales are still declining, and inventory is at an all-time low. This suggests that while some people are doing it, many are still choosing to postpone their search until lockdown lifts and the world returns to a state of normality. The issue with that is, no one knows exactly when that will be.
 
From personal experience, people are attached to the idea of ‘an experience.’ People still want to go into people’s homes and physically walk through them with their partners and families to see what the home as to offer. They want to see if it ‘feels’ like the right space for them if they can envision themselves there long-term.
 
What may help draw more people in is staging. While there is still the opportunity for virtual staging, true staging is still recommended if available because it’s more effective when trying to sell your house. It emphasizes the property's strong points and minimizes the weak points.
 
We need to keep an optimistic outlook here. If you need to buy or sell at this time, the positive thing is that you still have the opportunity to do so. As the pandemic continues to change our lives, we just have to learn to change with it. But at the same time, if you truly aren’t comfortable buying virtually, wait until you are.
 
Would you buy a house virtually? 

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JOSHUA CAMPBELL (@knowledgebrkr)
Real Estate Broker
Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Centre, Brokerage
joshua@knowledgebroker.ca
249 Avenue Road • Newmarket, ON L3Y 1N8
289.231.0001

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