The current COVID-19 crisis in the world and UK as resulted in drastic changes to most of our old – normal way of life. The property market was not immune to this.
A wise man once said, to every cloud there is a silver lining – pardon the cliché :-).
We have all witnessed the advent of virtual viewings in the UK over the past four (4) months. I have always wondered why Estate Agents never thought of providing this service. I can gladly say that for most houses I have viewed over the past year and a half, with permission from agents and/or sellers, I have made videos of my walkthrough.
Although, it doesn’t abrogate the need for a second viewing (which you should do if u note any serious issues), the videos I had recorded surely helped when it came to my decision making.
About two weeks ago, I posted a new page on the House Viewing page of First Time Buyer’s Agent section of the website particularly focused on virtual viewings. It included the types available, tips to prepare for and arrange a viewing and pros and cons of the different options available to home buyers.
The page was to help particularly first time buyers in navigating this ‘new/novel’ way of virtual viewing and most importantly to encourage them in continuing their house purchase despite what the current economic and property climate showed.
Find time and visit the page; in the mean time, below are a few thoughts from the page. Please do note that as always: All detail here is based on personal opinion and time bound. Most people will have had different experience. It cannot be used for any other purpose than to recount my personal experiences.
Types of Virtual Viewings
- Video calls – either real time with the vendor or Estate Agents OR pre-recorded
- 3D/4D representation of the house
- 4D walkthrough – produced via a scan of the property
- SLIDE SHOWS – this is absolutely useless! Produced by some agents from the estate agents photos of the property and passed off as online viewing. SCAMMERS! LOL
My preference is Video Calls as I can engage with the vendor and ask questions. The 4D walkthrough is a close second.
Do note that as with all viewings, it is important that you do the following:
- Be sure what you are looking for by having a viewing checklist ready. In a few weeks time, I will develop one for first time buyers and share with you at a very minimal cost.
- Arrange and confirm viewing before the said date and time
- Be open to work that needs doing on the property
- You are in no rush to put in an offer.
- Know the system the agent is going to use. if you are unfamiliar with it, especially 4D walktroughs, ask them to lead this as you are on the phone with them.
- Your privacy and safety if of utmost importance hence do everything to stay safe even during virtual viewings esp on video calls. e.g. if u do not want a real time call, be happy to ask for a pre-recorded video before making a trip to see it in person. In these times of COVID-19, be safe.
- SEND FEEDBACK. Vendors and agents alike need to hear feed back on the property including suitability and price.
The full article is available here.
In the next few posts, I will share my experiences of the Virtual Viewing Service – Availability and Quality Provided by Some Estate Agents in the UK. Once again, this will be based on my experience but show some of the abysmal service these agents provide to their Clients (Sellers) and us buyers.