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As a result of the pandemic, buying homes sight unseen became a fairly common occurrence.
But with life returning back to normal, will only virtual tours continue to be enough?
During an Inman Connect session Thursday entitled, “Is Buying Sight Unseen Here to Stay,” Realtors Cara Ameer and Gary Gold went head to head on the topic.
“I think the pandemic forced a lot of changes not only in our personal lives, but in how business is done,” Ameer said during the discussion. “If it weren’t for being able to buy sight unseen, our industry would have stopped.”
While the country continues to move toward a post-pandemic reality, Ameer believes the trend is here to stay, pointing to the convenience it offers to all parties involved: the buyers, the sellers and the agents.
Now, when Ameer says virtual tours, she isn’t referring to turning on a camera and doing a quick walk through a property.
“You need to be able to show the bumps and the bruises of the house. You need to be able to show them what’s across the street, what’s on either side of the home. Is there anything unsightly that they should know about?” she said.
The more you can get the buyer confident, Ameer continued, the more inclined they’ll be to purchase sight unseen.
Gold on the other hand doesn’t see the trend sticking.
“I think it’s a great additional tool,” he said.
But if people have the ability to tour a home in person, he continued, they’re going to do it.
In addition to the pandemic restrictions that have prevented people from taking physical tours, the housing shortage has forced them to pull the trigger quickly.
Once demand levels out and inventory isn’t as scarce, Gold believes there won’t be as big of a need to opt for just virtual.