There have been hundreds of articles about things to look for in a virtual home tour. You’re not going to see or notice everything through a video screen so it’s important to look for items that might not be as obvious unless you’re in person. But, are there things you should also ignore? Do you really need to know everything about a home to make an offer? To some degree yes, but here are five things to ignore on a virtual home tour.
#1. Staging and Decor
Of course, beautifully staged homes are likely to sell more quickly than those that are unfurnished and outdated. Staging can absolutely have a positive effect on how quickly you can sell. But most people realize that they are not buying the furnishings. Try not to get distracted by the window coverings, beautiful couch, or accent pieces. They won’t convey with the property so it’s best not to get sidetracked by the decor and pay more attention to the bones and structure of the home. These are things to ask about in a virtual home tour.
#2. Paint color and cosmetics.
Similar to staging, paint color and cosmetics can really make or break a sale but they can be easily changed so it’s important to try to look past that bright red kitchen or baby blue nursery. Pay closer attention to the condition of the walls, cabinets, floors, and millwork. Make sure that they are in decent shape or something that can be simply and affordably updated.
A little trick is to go to the corner and see if there’s any space between the baseboard and the wood. If there is, typically means the floor has been refinished and may not be able to withstand another sanding job.
#3. The kitchen.
Okay, okay, I know that the kitchen is a big selling point but buyers are often attracted to a brand-new kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances, granite countertops, and new cabinetry. While this definitely is a good selling point, is the property functional and practical for what you want? Are you a cook and will you need more space? The kitchen may be beautiful but it also could be a postage stamp size as well. Will you be able to add additional appliances that you might need? Will you need more electrical capacity? How big is the oven on the inside? Are the drawers deep enough to handle your pots and pans and are the counters at a good height. Is the sink in a good position relative to the stove?
#4. Pricey upgrades.
A lot of sellers feel that if they put in high-priced upgrades they should be able to get that money back but that’s not always the case. Real estate brokers spend a lot of time curating property descriptions with specific details and that might mean name dropping for certain brands and details. However, many of these high-end details can detract buyers from what were really looking at. It’s important to know the age and quality of the homes major systems such as the roof, foundation, HVAC systems, and appliances rather than how much someone might’ve spent on an air conditioning unit.
#5. Sound systems.
How well does the sound carry through the house? Smart home systems may have certain upgrades, entertainment options, and built-in speakers but the noise you should be more concerned about is what’s coming from outside the home. Are the windows double pained? Is the home on a quiet residential street or a busy intersection? Are the doors and walls fairly thin? These should be more of a concern than the sound system or smart home technology within the home. While it may be hard to determine in a virtual home tour, you can ask your agent about the sound.
As a buyers agent and a listing agent, I make sure to really focus on what matters. Yes, staging definitely sells the home from the first impression either online, in person, or in a flyer, but my buyers really need to know the guts of the home and the integrity of the property. Whether you’re buying or selling a home in Snohomish County, give me a call. With decades of experience and seasoned knowledge under my belt, I can help you buy or sell the right home.
More Tips for Home Buyers
- How to Buy and Older Home in North Everett
- 10 Ways Homeowners ‘Trick’ Home Buyers in the Inspection
- 5 Things to Know About Buying a Historic Home
- Should you buy a fixer-upper?
- Mortgage calculator
- 4 Hidden Problems of Buying an Older Home
- Cookie Cutter Homes No Longer the Norm
- What to Expect in a Bank-Owned Home