With changes due to Covid-19, viewing a virtual open house is a great way to view home, acreages and condos online from the comfort of your home. As it is a fairly new way to view a home, I wanted to share some tips about joining.
How to Find Virtual Open Houses
If you are set up with your real estate agent for search updates, you’ll easily know when a virtual open house is scheduled for properties that meet your criteria. If you have not selected an agent to work with yet, then on www.Realtor.ca you want to look for this ‘wifi’ symbol to indicate which properties will have a virtual open house scheduled.
Mark Your Calendar
Be sure to mark the date, time and website link where the online open house will happen. The most common virtual streams are through Zoom or Facebook. You want to ensure you have access to the right platform on your phone or computer where you want to watch from. Many times the link will not work until the open house has started.
Who Will Be There
Each agent hosts their virtual open house a little differently. Some use a group watch like Facebook where many people can watch and ask questions in the comments. Some agents enable a waitroom feature so they can walk one viewer through at a time and chat to you and answer your questions about the property. You may not know which will be offered until you log into the virtual open house.
What to Expect on a Walk Through
The agent will often walk you through the home with their phone, tablet or computer. They should go slow enough to help you scan all the corners of the home from all angles. You’ll often get to see all the rooms, basements, garages and even backyards. If you are viewing a condo they may or may not be able to take you to see the outside and amenities in the building due to losing connection in an elevator or even just privacy concerns of encountering other tenants in the building.
What Questions Should I Ask
The same questions you may ask on a real showing – what direction are windows facing? What are the unique or special features of the home? What is nearby in the community? Is there something you want to see of particular interest to you? Whether you ask the questions through a chat box, by voice while watching or submitting a comment, you want to ensure the agent addresses your question. You may enjoy hearing what others ask as it may help you better understand the property.
Can’t Find a Virtual Open House?
Your preferred real estate agent can do a virtual showing on any property you’d like. It’s a great way for you to do some previewing. That way you can ensure you only need to book showings on the properties you really want to see in person. Are you out of town? Again this is a great way to preview options for you before you get into town. I’m happy to offer any of my buyers a virtual tour of any property they may be interested in.
I hope this gives you some insight on how to make good use of virtual open houses. It’s a great way to check out homes when safety, mobility concerns or even distance, make it hard to view all the homes in person.