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Virtually changing how buyers shop for new homes

Could or would you consider buying a home sight unseen? The answer may hinge on how you define "seen." More and more potential homebuyers are touring homes online and through virtual reality. Below is an excerpt from the Washington Post about the potential change in a real estate norm.

It is a beautiful day in Florida, with gentle ripples on the surface of the swimming pool and shadows of palm fronds subtly shifting with the breeze. You open glass pocket doors to step onto a wide porch from the great room, where a linear gas fireplace has a bed of sparkling crystals underneath the flames.

Walking through the house from the great room and the open kitchen into a large dining room and a home office, you notice high ceilings and plenty of daylight flowing into the rooms from the floor-to-ceiling windows. You admire the serene blue-and-white master bedroom and step out onto its private balcony overlooking a lake. Then you take off your headset and realize you’re in the middle of a crowded convention center surrounded by other people, not relaxing and enjoying the sunshine and the sparkling new house.

Welcome to virtual reality, the future of home-buying.

“Technology is changing rapidly, but we think the use of virtual reality will reshape and transform how new homes are designed, marketed and sold,” says Tim Costello, founder and chief executive officer of Builder Homesite Inc. (BHI), the parent company of Builders Digital Experience (BDX) and, a builder marketing business based in Austin.

Costello says that while almost no builders are exclusively using virtual reality to market their homes, the number of them experimenting with the technology has increased exponentially in the past year.

[Virtually changing how buyers shop for new homes]

Eventually, some experts say, use of the technology may diminish the need for builders to construct real models for people to walk through — a move that can save them money and allow them to begin selling their residences sooner.

More here


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