Real estate without the “Real”

by | May 5, 2022 | Living in the Future | 0 comments

Back in 2019 (in the “Before” time), fed up with losing 5 months of the year to cold weather and snow, my wife and I decided to move cross country in search of warmer climes. As anyone who’s familiar with the process can tell you, this involves two key steps.

Finding a new house.

Selling your old one.

If you’re renting, leasing, or squatting, the latter might not apply, and there are certainly plenty of ancillary steps along the way, but I think the two I mention are key to the following technological breakthrough…

Virtual Home Tours.

For decades, you’ve been able to order a pizza from across town. More recently, Amazon has been willing to ship you this, that, and the other via internet ordering. But now you can practically buy a house from the comfort of your own (soon to be someone else’s) home. Listings for every house on Earth (or pretty close) are available via sorting at your fingertips. That’s nothing new.

But now, for many houses, you can take a virtual walkthrough to see rooms in panoramic pseudo-3D. You can’t physically touch anything (obviously), but you can get a much better sense of the layout and the size of things than you can by leafing through still photos.

And this brings us back to the other half of the equation: selling a house.

You see, while working on finding a house on one side of the country, we were busy trying to sell one on the other. This led to a division of labor. My wife zipped over to the west coast armed with a checklist of houses we’d shortlisted. I stayed home to manage showings and keep the old house in buyer-friendly shape.

When my wife toured houses, if they looked good, she’d Skype me in (this was shortly before Zoom conquered Earth). I got a more curated virtual tour, and could ask questions of the listing agent. Later in the process, we did the same with the home inspection.

I moved 3000+ miles without seeing inside my new house with my own eyes. I had complete confidence due to a solid mixture of technology and trusting my wife 🙂

If you’re going to move a long distance and can’t visit in person, virtual tours feel like a must-have. And even if you’re not going as far, the simpler virtual tours often accompanying modern listings are a great way to help answer questions you might have before wasting an afternoon and a real estate agent’s time.

When in the future, shop as the future people do.

The next time you’re looking for a house, apartment, or even your next vacation rental, scout around for virtual walkthroughs.

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