Property viewings are a sensitive time. It’s important to know precisely what you’re getting into before signing any paperwork.
However, the pandemic sparked a surge in people viewing properties virtually, a change that could last long-term. They toured around either solo through their screens or even with the help of a remote agent.
Of course, most people have a quality smartphone camera these days, so you can get a reliable feel for the space and dimensions of a property no matter where you are in the world. It’s a convenience rather than a compromise, and it’s important to view it as such and seize this opportunity when you have it.
Whether you are looking to buy or rent a property, here are some suggestions that might help you make the most of a virtual property viewing.
Look For a Property Abroad
Virtual calls of any kind mean you are not bound by location. Therefore, it could be a good idea to expand property sights a little further afield than what you are used to.
Whether you’re looking for a permanent new base or just a room to rent, PropertyGuru has many exciting properties listed in Malaysia, from Kuala Lumpur to Johor. Importantly, they recommend that you contact agents to arrange a live virtual tour for some of their listings. Many options are also fully furnished, making moving overseas even more doable.
You can gain inspiration this way too. Properties in different territories will be decorated, built, and priced differently. It might be that what you see on these virtual tours reinvigorates your approach to property, incorporating elements of the ideas you come across into your next home.
Why not explore the world some more? Of course, if you’re renting a fully furnished abode, you don’t need to look at establishing roots right away. Get a feel for the places you live in, and if you like it, you can consider buying somewhere there in a few years. Ultimately, it is easier than ever to have a flexible living situation, so try to enjoy it if you have one.
Research Carefully Around the Virtual Viewing
A virtual viewing alone isn’t enough, nor is its regular counterpart. You should be prepared to conduct some extensive research that will ultimately lend more flavor to your remote tour.
While people have attempted to remove their properties from Google street view in recent times, most properties will still feature on them. Look up the one you are interested in online and conduct your own virtual tour of the surrounding area. Stay cautious, though – be sure to check the dates on anything you view, as the footage may be old and inconsistent with what is listed.
Try to dig up some floorplans for the property that you are interested in. You might have more confidence buying or renting somewhere if you can independently verify the size and dimensions of a home. Compare these plans against the properties you are virtually viewing too.
Once you have done all your research, you are then able to ask more insightful questions. Remember, the quality of your enquiries matters, as it is what will help you best overcome some of the limitations a virtual viewing will inevitably incur.
Try not to see a virtual viewing as being ‘lesser’ than an in-person event. You have all the same rights as anyone touring the property in real life. Take your time to ask any questions you can think of, big or small.
Enquire about amenities, which utilities are due an upgrade, what local life is like, and all the other important talking points. Your inquisitive nature is arguably more important in a virtual viewing because you are not there in-person to touch things or get familiar with the surrounding area.
Highlight key buzzwords in the property description section. Ask questions around them, even if answers are already provided in the copy. That way, you can check for consistency in the offering, ensuring nothing is being embellished. In the end, this part of the process should be even more thorough than if you were viewing it in person.
Arranging an in-person property viewing can be a logistical nightmare if other people are involved. Dates often need to be moved around so that schedules can align.
However, there’s obviously more flexibility with a virtual property viewing. You and others should have an easier time attending on a group Zoom call from home, work, or even public transport. Arrange your viewing with the relevant agent as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on homes you are interested in faster.
Due to this added convenience, it may be beneficial to involve people in the tour who are not necessarily moving in with you. Second opinions and moral support can be highly useful, and you would hardly be inconveniencing them in the process. They may even ask questions you had not yet thought of yourself or bring enthusiastic energy that can influence you and give you greater confidence.