3 Lessons From Selling New Homes 'Sight Unseen'

These tips gleaned from the new-home construction world may help all clients feel more comfortable about remote home shopping.
looking at homes online

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New-construction buyers are often accustomed to entering into a sales contract without setting foot in a home. New-home sales pros rely on selling a vision and legal assurances in the absence of physical tours. During the pandemic, reports of sight-­unseen offers for existing homes have been rising. While most clients will still prefer to physically see a home before buying it, they’re also likely to vet more homes online. These tips gleaned from the new-home construction world, offered by Realty One Group’s Chief Learning Officer, Mark Pessin, may help all clients feel more comfortable about remote home shopping.

Create a floor plan. A floor plan can be a useful supplement to a virtual tour because it helps buyers visualize the flow and layout of a space. It can provide useful dimensions of rooms, too. BoxBrownie offers Floor Plan Redraw, for example, to help you generate 2D floor plans of spaces, including an option for a textured rendering that can show off a home’s specific flooring type in each room, whether carpet, tile, or wood, as well as options to display furniture placement.

Offer a 3D walkthrough. Virtual tours can help buyers feel like they’ve walked around a space without ever going inside. The new-home market uses 3D walkthrough tools to allow buyers to study model homes. You can use that same technology for tours of existing homes. There’s a wide ranges of cameras and solutions today for creating 3D tours and dollhouse views of a home, allowing buyers to click through—looking up and down, side to side, and inside rooms and even closets to get a feel for a space remotely. “It can give you a sense of movement inside a home and you’ll feel like you walked through the home,” Pessin says.

Gather feedback in real time. Real estate pros working with new-home customers know how carefully they must take in all their feedback when working with clients who can’t physically tour homes. That’s why Pessin suggests agents invite buyers to view properties together online. Jump on a Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, or other videoconference call and share your screen, showing the full range of property features and details as you walk clients through them. “Even if you’re not physically together in the same room, you can still get that instant feedback, which is valuable for seeing what they like and don’t like,” Pessin says. “It’s important to get that in-the-­moment emotional response to a property because it can really help [narrow] the search for a desirable property.”