One in every 20 homebuyers purchased a house sight-unseen during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study.
Before March, only 3% of buyers purchased a home without ever setting foot on the property. The pandemic brought a small 2 percentage point bump to virtual homebuying, according to a new study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
“People really didn’t buy houses sight-unseen, traditionally. It’s still not a huge number, but it has gone up, and we have definitely seen that trend accelerate,” said a local expert.
For most other buyers, virtual tours narrowed down their home search. Buyers viewed five homes online and four homes in-person during the pandemic, compared to nine homes in-person in 2019, according to NAR. This was the first year experts asked buyers to specify the number of homes toured virtually.
“There are different ways they were embracing that technology, whether you create a 3D virtual tour or have a Realtor or even the seller physically in the house, showing the home to that buyer going around the house. Sellers are creatively embracing technology and finding ways to stay safe but also show the house,” said the expert, who also said NAR members expect virtual technology use will last beyond the pandemic.
Listings offering 3D and virtual tours generated 300% more engagement and 10 times the clicks of traditional listings during the pandemic, according to a San Francisco-based online listing service. Sellers noticed the jump and shifted to meet buyer preferences. Some 27% of sellers offered virtual tours during the pandemic, compared to only 16% before April, according to experts.
“The world has progressed from flat, non-interactive images to semi-interactive video and now fully immersive 3D media,” said the CEO of New York City-based 3D tour producers 3D Apartment and Listing3D.
Are you looking to buy or sell property? If you’d like, we can have a real estate expert show you the most efficient process that saves you thousands of dollars, a lot of time, with little or no inconvenience to you. Contact us today!