Even though estate and lettings agents have been given the green light and the property market has resumed with a flurry of activity, the Government has made it clear that it is not quite business as usual and virtual viewings should still be used to view a property initially before making the decision to view in person.
While it is now possible to conduct physical viewings, until the COVID-19 pandemic has been overcome, the property market will be a far more tech-orientated version of its former self and virtual tools and tech will continue to be a part of the home buying process. Even after coronavirus, we could see many using virtual viewings during their home search process to narrow down one or two homes that they would want to visit in person.
A consumer survey conducted by Atomik Research among 2,002 respondents from the UK, all either a homeowner or renting their current property, revealed that one in two people would be open to view a prospective property via a virtual viewing. This was due to the several advantages that arise from virtual viewings, such as the ability to see more properties in a day, and the fact that it allowed them more flexibility in the time they could view the property. Another reason sighted was the fact that virtual viewings allowed them the opportunity to view properties in other parts of the country without needing to travel there.
While people are still coming to terms with the ‘new normal’, safety remains a priority. The top reason that respondents would opt for a virtual viewing over a physical viewing is down to their personal safety. Around two thirds of the people surveyed said that they would not be comfortable seeing someone else’s property in person. Despite this, 62% said that they would want to meet the seller and 60% said they would want to meet the landlord before they bought or rented a property. Again, this points to the fact that people will use virtual viewings as a method to narrow down options and will then consider a physical viewing when they have a property that stands out to them.
The research also revealed that the most important aspects of a home that people wanted to see during a virtual viewing were the kitchen and bathrooms. Not surprising considering these rooms often carry the biggest weight in the decision-making process when purchasing a new home. Family buyers are particularly interested in the kitchen, as much of family activity is centred around this hub in the home.
Apart from the kitchen and bathrooms, the other areas of the home that people are most interested in seeing include the living room, bedrooms and the garden. The lockdown has highlighted the importance of gardens and outdoor spaces for many.
Although virtual viewings came about as a result of the lockdown, it is likely they may continue to be a vital home buying tool going forward. Virtual viewings can be a highly effective way of narrowing down a property search and finding a home.
Get in touch with your local Fine & Country agent today to conduct a virtual viewing.
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