Going on a virtual home tour? Here’s what you need to ask

Credit: AJC

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Credit: AJC

With the coronavirus pandemic continuing, it’s more common that you’ll be attending a virtual home tour rather than one in person.

That can prove challenging, especially because there are things you won’t be able to see with your own eyes, but rather, through a screen.

Still, virtual tours can prove useful even outside of a pandemic setting.

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“It helps with out-of-town buyers,” Jacksonville, Florida-based real estate photographer Kim Lindsey told The Morning Show. “A lot of people are moving here from up north, so with them being able to see a virtual tour, there’s been houses that have been bought sight unseen just due to these virtual tours, so there’s definitely a competitive edge to using these services that are more than just regular photos.”

No matter where you decide to move, there are several questions you should ask during a virtual home tour. Here are five of them, according to business and lifestyle publication AZ Big Media.

How does the home itself compare to the listing?

Online, photos are often edited to be brighter and taken at the best angles. Ensure that the online listing is as close as possible to the real thing. Ask your real estate agent about how each room compares to the online version and take note of damage, including chipped or peeling paint, scratches on the floor, worn appliances and discoloration on the walls. You should also observe the actual floor plan in comparison to the listing — measurements don’t always add up in real life, so your main en suite could be less than stellar.

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Has the foundation been repaired, or does it need repair?

Your home’s foundation is what holds everything together, so you want to make sure it is solid. You should know the repair history and take note of any cracks or whether or not windows are able to be opened. Additionally, know that insurance doesn’t typically pay for a general foundation repair, according to Oaklahoma-based concrete contractor Edens Structural Solutions.

What’s underneath the carpets?

Carpet isn’t as untrendy as it used to be and it can be common in an older home. Make sure you’re aware of what’s going on underneath to rule out water damage and rot. That way, you can avoid long-term issues with your flooring and subflooring.

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What’s the best cafe, restaurant or store close by?

A virtual home tour isn’t just about the home but the environment surrounding it. Ask your real estate agent about the shops and retailers in the area. You’ll likely have to set foot in the home and area sometime before you move, so when you do, take the time to visit those restaurants, cafes and stores to get an idea about the community.

Is there anything else I should know about or look at while we’re here?

More than likely, your agent has more information about the home and the neighborhood than you do, regardless of how much you’ve analyzed the listing. Ask them about anything else you should be aware of or review before exiting the virtual tour to make sure you miss as few details as possible.

Aside from these questions, AZ Big Media also suggests you request additional pictures and videos and conduct as much research as possible. You’ll also want to schedule your tour in the daytime to maximize visibility.

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