Virtual tours during COVID-19

To comply with social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, many agents are utilizing virtual tours during COVID-19. You can expect virtual home tours — already used by REALTORS® — to become even more popular today, in Chicago and across the country.

A new report from the National Association of REALTORS® says that a growing number of buyers are signing contracts for homes without ever visiting these properties in person. They’re doing this as a result of the pandemic, of course, and because virtual tours let them at see their new homes before they made an offer.

According to the report, a quarter of REALTORS® who had clients put contracts on homes during the week ended April 16 had at least one buyer do so without physically seeing the property.

This is evidence that virtual tours of homes for sale are more important than ever. If you are trying to sell a Chicago condo or single-family home, make sure your property listing gives buyers the chance to see your home’s bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen and outdoor spaces through a virtual tour.

Make sure, too, that this tour is professional and that it showcases the best features of your home. If you renovated your kitchen last year, make sure this space is a focus of your virtual tour. If you added a master bathroom, make that bathroom area a star of your home’s virtual tour.

The Association’s chief economist said that he expects home sales, even with the help of virtual tours, to slow as people follow their governors’ stay-at-home orders. The economist, though, said that home sales should speed up once the economy reopens. After all, people still want to buy homes, even if they are worried about COVID-19.

According to the Association’s research, 33 percent of REALTORS® said they were not experiencing any closing delays because of the virus. Those who were reporting delays pointed to slowdowns in financing, appraisals and home inspections as the main reasons.