Buying Guide: How to shortlist house using virtual viewing

The Covid-19 pandemic drastically changed the world as we know it. From the aviation industry to the tourism industry and the real estate industry, almost every industry in the world was severely impacted by this pandemic. However, the real estate industry in the UK was quick to revive. The UK government set up strict protocols and guidelines for buyers, sellers, and real estate agents so that the real estate market could continue to run smoothly. One of the most significant changes that came about was virtual viewings. The UK government declared that potential buyers could view property, but only through virtual viewings; this means 360 virtual tours, video tours and live virtual viewings. Of, course, this was to be done with the help of real estate agents, so from Orpington estate agents to real estate agents in Beckenham, everyone started adapting to the new world of property viewing. If you’re a potential buyer who has recently started looking at properties online, here are some essential tips to help you shortlist properties through the medium of virtual viewing.

Understand the floorplan

In a video or a 360-degree virtual tour, it is kind of hard to understand exactly how ample space is. So, instead of solely relying on what you see, why not study the floor plan. By checking the floor plan before viewing the property virtually, you will have a fair idea of how big each room is, from the living room to the kitchen to the bedrooms. This will also give you a fair idea of the property’s layout, which can help you determine whether this property meets your criteria.

Have a keen eye for the details

Don’t just glance over everything during your virtual viewing. It’s all about the details! It is straightforward for sellers to hide small flaws and damages, especially during a virtual viewing. So, if you’re looking at a potential property via a live video or a virtual tour, then make sure to zoom into the details. This means looking at every nook and cranny to ensure that everything is precisely how it is supposed to be. If you’re viewing the property via a live tour with your real estate agent, ask them to lift carpets and move things around so that you know everything is in order.

Take a look outside the house

Before you even start viewing the interiors, have a look at the exteriors of the property. Check for any dampness on the walls, leaky roofs and any tiles which might be falling out. Is the paint peeling? Are the gutters leaking? These could all be signs of faulty plumbing, leaks and damages. However, if you’re unsure of what the structural base of the property that you have your eyes and heart set on, you can always hire a property surveyor to examine the condition of the property.

Google Maps Street View to the rescue

Try to determine exactly where the property is located. Understand the location and then use Google Maps street view to take a look at the neighbourhood. You’ll get a fair idea of what the streets look like, what the exterior of the house looks like and what the community is all about. Alternatively, you can always go for a drive in the neighbourhood and check out the property’s exteriors from the safety of your car.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Once you’ve seen a property virtually, don’t be afraid to ask questions. How long has the property been on the market? How many times has the property changed hands in the last 10 years? When was the last time the plumbing required repair? Has the house been rewired?  How far is the property from supermarkets and grocery stores? Ask all the tough questions!

Look at all aspects of the property

When you’re viewing property online, don’t forget to look at all aspects of the property – just as you would when you’re attending an open house! What’s the view from the window like? How much natural sunlight enters the property? Is there enough storage space? How big are the wardrobes? Has the property recently been repainted to hide some faults or damages? Are there any cracks in the walls or ceilings? Make sure to check out everything!

With new technology, virtual property viewing has become easier than ever. In fact, with the self 360-degree tour, potential buyers can literally measure the size of wardrobes, check out every nook and corner in high-quality videos and get a feel of what it is like to walk around the property. However, if you are unhappy with the virtual viewing or think it isn’t enough to help you decide, you can always ask your real estate agent to organise an actual viewing of the property. For free online property valuation, get in touch with your estate agent!

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