Toronto Real Estate

Will virtual technology eliminates the physical showing of the real estate?

Sunday May 17th, 2020


During the pandemic, I have seen plenty of technologies that enhance human interactions remotely. Many of these technologies are simple to use, each efficient in its way. Others are highly sophisticated, giving an additional edge to the business models. As a realtor in Toronto, I have embraced the many innovations offered by these advantageous technologies.

The 3D virtual tour is used more frequently now in the Toronto real estate market. Miraculously, it only takes one to two hours to map out the whole area of a house. Potential buyers can then view the property online, avoiding the risk of going out and getting infected during this pandemic. The virtual tour displays a vivid model that allows the viewer to clearly and precisely view the house's condition and layout. Another technology, called Virtual Staging, helps the seller to see the staging effect via computer graphic design. Many homes sold in Toronto have staged furniture to make the property feel cozier, rather than just rooms with space. A good staging design may attract potential buyers who love the house so much, they are willing to pay above the market price. Not only does Virtual staging help the seller to satisfy the design of the stage before the staging furniture moves in, it also allows the house to be decorated virtually without actual furniture. During my stay at home, I studied the techniques to create virtual staging and molded something amazing. I realized that today's technology is so advanced, blending the virtual world into our physical reality has become a piece of cake. But do we need to view the property physically before buying a house? The answer is yes.


During this pandemic, I have interacted with both sellers and buyers. To reduce the risk of contracting the virus for the sellers, we offered a 3D virtual tour solution. But the seller refused as the 3D virtual tour revealed too much of their privacy. Considering that anyone can see your house online, some, not even the potential buyers. Furthermore, most homes have small imperfections. The virtual tour can reveal all of them. The deal will go off if potential buyers discover the house's minuscule flaw and magnify it as they can view the house online again and again.

It is also unrealistic not to view the property physically before making a final purchase decision on the purchaser's end. I have worked with several buyers recently in Markham, Richmond Hill, and Vaughan area. All buyers are fully aware of the risks of Cov-19. So, they always look at the virtual tour and pictures to make sure they are 100% satisfied before making a physical trip to the property. But the real experience is still different from their expectation. It is too easy to hide any significant defect with today's graphic software. So far, none of them bought the property based on virtual experience. Seldomly, I have seen a few buyers purchase the property only based on pictures and the recommendation from a real estate agent. In my opinion, that is a huge gamble.  I have overheard too many stories about buyers regretting their purchase decisions after moving into the house, which they have never physically inspected before.

This pandemic profoundly changed our lives. We are truly fortunate to have so much high-tech to support our communication. When we come to real estate, we can rely on technology in certain aspects. With the human factors involved, it is a very long journey to PURELY depend on technology to complete the transaction of the real estate.

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