Virtual Tours Gain Ground With Buyers

A man and a woman sit on a couch looking at a tablet screen showing the interior of a home.

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Buyers may be getting more comfortable shopping for homes via video tours. Three out of five home shoppers say they’d be willing to purchase a home after only a virtual tour, according to a new survey of more than 800 home buyers conducted by Rocket Mortgage.

Prerecorded virtual tours resulted in higher levels of buyer satisfaction—more so than live virtual tours or panoramic photos, the Rocket Mortgage study shows.

Virtual tours became more common when the pandemic began. Even as COVID-19 restrictions have eased, however, real estate professionals are still using them to help buyers narrow their home searches and act quickly in the competitive housing market. Many potential home buyers also have used virtual tours to help decide which properties to schedule in-person showings for.

Buyers said they most like virtual home showings because of the ability to view more homes, their convenience, and the ability to screen homes, the survey finds. But the downsides, they say, include difficulty viewing details, the inability to use nonvisual senses, and the inability to inspect potential problem areas.

A bar chart showing the areas of homes that buyers struggle to view sufficiently on home tours.

However, nearly two-thirds–63%—of respondents felt virtual showings offered a good view of the most important areas of a home. Respondents rated the following as the top five elements of a successful virtual showing:

  • Sufficient photo or video quality: 58%
  • Sufficient number of images: 51%
  • Sufficient time per viewing: 46%
  • Opportunity to ask questions: 44%
  • Easy login process: 37%