Virtual home tours may have received immense popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic, but their roots can be traced back many years ago. The term dates back to the 90s. Most interestingly, the first tour exhibited a tour covering the 3D reconstruction of 1550’s Dudley Castle in England. Moreover, Queen Elizabeth II was one of the initial users of a virtual tour.
Every sector makes good use of virtual tours in today’s age, from tourism to real estate. But here we are particularly interested in what is a virtual tour of a house and the necessary tidbits you need as a home buyer (or seller).
What Is a Virtual Home Tour Exactly?
Imagine getting a house tour minus the physical contact. That is the gift of virtual reality. In more precise terms, a virtual home tour can be taken as a virtual imitation of a real house tour. The virtual experience lets users explore property or houses realistically through a virtual and remote platform.
So, you can access or take a tour without being at the exact geographical location of the home you are touring for.
Many people consider virtual home tours as videos or virtual simulations, but virtual tours possess great diversity. That brings us to the next section.
Types of Virtual Home Tours
• Captured 360-degree photos
This variety comprises photos or videos of the house taken from a 360-degree camera. The variety contains either sequence of shots or a shot taken continuously. The 360-degree tour lets you have a look at the rooms and corners of the house from different angles.
• 3D experience
This type brings more immersive quality than just looking through photos or videos. Also, 3D produces more detail compared to the first variety.
• Virtual reality (VR) simulation
This type possesses greater detail and immersion and gives a more realistic experience, making you feel you are in the home location. Users can even interact with the surroundings shown in the virtual tour through the use of controllers.
• Floor plan
This isn’t necessarily a house tour. Floor plans show the spatial arrangement and dimensions of the building and the placing of rooms, doors, and windows.
How to Do a Virtual Home Tour?
As a home buyer, you can certainly opt for virtual home tours. And you can consider these tours to weed out choices and make a concentrated selection while sitting in the comfort of your own home.
But how do you do such a virtual tour? When you open the link to your virtual tour, it is simply a matter of clicking or swiping through different rooms and panning to view various aspects of each room.
The tours are user-friendly, thus excluding the need for the pre-requisite technical expertise to take the tour.
How to Create a Virtual Home Tour?
As a home seller or an agent, you may want to create an online video of the house. The first step to creating a virtual home tour involves getting good equipment for taking the video. Even a mobile phone that can click wide-resolution photos will give you a video with good quality. Before taking videos or pictures of the house, ensure the house looks clean and well-lit.
You can use Matterport or other sites to make the selection of cameras or hardware to create virtual tours. Also, you can take the services of their professionals to scan your area and make virtual tours on your behalf.
Cost of Virtual Home Tour
You can make virtual tour videos as a home seller or real estate agent. To do so, you can use virtual home tour software. There are several free and paid softwares, and the paid ones require a monthly price or entry fee.
As a potential home buyer, you can potentially get a virtual tour for free if the seller has posted it for free. For the paid virtual tours for real estate, the pricing of varies depends on the house’s size and the video’s detailing and quality.
With a small apartment, the virtual tour would take less time and effort to produce and hence would require a smaller fee. On the other hand, virtual tours of mansion houses take more effort and have a high price. Also, a VR simulation can cost more than a 3D virtual home tour.
Pros of Virtual Home Tours
• Geographically reaching home locations for taking tours consumes time. But virtual home tours let you view many houses in a short period of time.
• Being a remote service, a virtual tour saves time. Imagine no longer having to lose time driving away to view a house.
• By letting you have plenty of time, the tour helps you to compare houses in your preferred schedule.
Cons of Virtual Home Tours
• Have you heard of buyers who decide to buy homes just by watching virtual home tours? The answer is either no or very few.
• Despite being time-saving, virtual tours never gives you a chance to have a face-to-face talk with the agent.
• Virtual home tours are great but can hardly give you an understanding of the neighborhood. Getting a feel of the neighborhood or an idea of who your neighbors are is a critical deciding factor for home buyers.
• You can never gauge the natural lightning the house gets.
• Also, the videos can show you the structure but not its strength. You can become impressed by the staircase design as shown by the video, but you wouldn’t know how sturdy the staircase and handrailing is until you physically visit the house.
If you are contemplating what is a virtual house tour, consider it as a virtual representation of home tours minus physical contact. There are several types of virtual tours. Also, these let you save time and fuel and let you view many houses in a short time.