Virtual House Showings vs. Virtual Tours: What’s The Difference?

Selling a House

Virtual House Showings vs. Virtual Tours: What’s The Difference?

September 21, 2021

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A lot has changed in the real estate industry. In-person interactions have been minimized and there is an increased reliance on virtual meetings. Buyers, sellers, and even real estate agents have realized that a vast majority of real estate interactions can be handled virtually. 

In the last year, virtual home tours and virtual showings emerged as two of the most popular tools for buyers and sellers. Many people don’t know the difference between virtual tours and showings. In fact, most people don’t even know there is a difference between the two.

In this blog post, we are going to define what virtual tours are as well as virtual showings. We will also look at the pros and cons of using either option. Let’s get started.

What Is A Virtual Tour?

A virtual tour is a video marketing strategy used by real estate agents to display a house. 

They are created and pre-recorded on behalf of sellers to give you a walkthrough of the property in all of its perfectly staged glory. 

The purpose of a virtual house tour is to spark the buyer’s interest in the property. 

Think of them as a creative way to present the property. Potential buyers can have a good look at the property without having to visit it in person. 

A virtual tour can include video recordings, virtual reality, photographs, or virtual floor plans. 

Virtual house tours had been a popular trend in the real estate market before the pandemic, but now they are the go-to option for real estate agents. 

What Is A Virtual Showing?

A virtual showing, on the other hand, is an interactive experience where the real estate agent gives a walkthrough of the home with the potential buyers live on the other end. 

The keyword here is interactive. While virtual tours are pre-recorded videos of the property, virtual showings happen in real-time. 

During virtual showings, the real estate agent uses a live video feed to take the potential home buyer on a tour of the property. The buyer can ask questions and clear any doubts regarding the property during this online tour. 

You can think of a virtual showing as an authentic experience with the property that doesn’t include the polished staging virtual tours use as a marketing strategy. 

Both Share Some Common Advantages

Whether we look from the perspective of a seller’s agent or the buyers themselves, there are some common advantages that both virtual house tours and virtual showings have. Compared to traditional, in-person interactions virtual tours and showings are…

  • A safer option in today’s time

In the midst of a pandemic, avoiding meeting others in person has become a common practice that almost everyone has adopted. 

Virtual tours and virtual showings are a safe way to get a close look at a property while staying in the comfort of your own home.

  • Saves a lot of time

In-person showings and house tours can interrupt your schedule and take up a lot of your time as a seller. You have to get yourself out of the house while the real estate agent shows buyers around the house. 

As a real estate agent, you have to travel to the property and spend time showing the potential buyers the property.  

As a potential seller, you have to take time off your schedule to go to the showing according to the real estate agent’s schedule.

Virtual showings can save a lot more time than virtual house tours because house tours need to look polished for marketing purposes while virtual showings don’t need as much staging. 

  • Present a realistic representation 

Lastly, virtual tours and showings can give you a very good experience with the property remotely. 

With the latest technology like 360 virtual tours, one can experience what it’s like to be on the property just by using 360 technology. 

Disadvantages of Virtual Tours and Virtual Showings 

Just like the advantages, there are some common disadvantages that both virtual tours and virtual showings share, especially from a buyer’s perspective.

  • You don’t get the feel of the property 

No matter how advanced technology becomes a virtual tour or a showing can never give you the real experience of visiting a home and the neighborhood. No one should want to take the risk of buying a home purely based on a video tour or a virtual showing. 

  • You don’t get a true evaluation of the home’s infrastructure

Evaluating a home and its condition is an essential part of the home buying process and you can only do that in-person. For instance, a leakage in the bathroom sink, water damage under the carpet, or a smelly basement. Not being able to show you these issues is one of the biggest disadvantages of virtual tours and showings. 

What’s The BIG Difference between Virtual House Tours vs. Virtual Showings?

The biggest difference between a virtual showing and a virtual house tour is the expectations. 

Virtual tours are like advertising. You are presenting the house to the buyers in a polished and perfected way, making it look alluring. Whereas a virtual showing is more like a real, in-person interaction. 

Virtual tours are only one-sided since the video is pre-recorded. Buyers don’t have a say in the experience. Whereas virtual showings are highly interactive, which means the buyers do have a say in the experience. 

Buyers don’t always believe what they see in virtual tours, since they are recorded and prepared just like any marketing technique. Whereas virtual showings are more reliable and authentic because the interaction is happening in real-time.

Virtual Tours And Showings Do Make It Easier, But…

Virtual tours and showings have their advantages, especially when it comes to maintaining social distance and saving a lot of time. During the pandemic, virtual house tours and house showings have emerged as the preferred option for real estate agents to help their clients find their dream homes.  If you are also looking to buy a house, don’t get surprised when the real estate agent offers to give a virtual tour of the property.