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What to ask during virtual home tours

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The home virtual tour has always been a useful recreational and marketing tool. However, it was only during the pandemic when this became the primary means for showcasing a home, alongside online real estate listings and social media posts.

Latest data reveals that the capital is presently under the yellow, or Phase 2, reopening status. This means that there is a moderate number of cases here and that strict safety protocols are still being enforced. Viewing homes via virtual tours in Washington DC becomes the safer option compared to open houses.

Admittedly, though, there are details that cannot be supplied by simply viewing video walkthroughs. If you want to buy a house in Washington DC, you will need to ask the right questions for a more detailed feel of the home being featured in a virtual tour.

Here are some good questions to ask:

How many square feet is the home?

Virtual tours can distort space a bit, making it hard to judge its size. Ask for measurements and dimensions beforehand to get a better idea of how large or small the space is.

Does the house emit odors?

House scent is one of the things a virtual home tour cannot provide. So, ask the agent if they can detect undesirable odors in the home. Sewage smell, musty odors, and the smell of rotten eggs may signal hidden problems.

Is a part of the home damaged?

Even the clearest video cannot show details like surfaces, walls, and floors crying for help. Some of the damages, like heavily worn traffic patterns on floors or too many stains, may be costly.

Inquire about creaking floors and stairs, which can only be detected if the agent actually steps on these.

What repairs have been done?

Ask about the last roof replacement and other major repairs. Roof repairs are expensive, so it’s important to know when the warranty expires. Inquire about broken window panes that rattle at night or whenever a strong wind blows.

Knowing when repairs are due lets buyers plan expenses and decide on what other steps to take.

What’s the condition of appliances and electric outlets?

Replacing appliances can be costly. So, ask about their age and condition to avoid spending more on replacements. Have the electric outlets checked – how many there are, where they are, if all are functioning well, and if there are no scorch marks on them.

How’s the noise level and light?

The house may look stunning in a virtual tour. But if it is surrounded by busy streets or it doesn’t get enough natural light, that supposed dream home can become a nightmare.

Thus, find out if the home sits in an area where the sun shines for shorter periods of time. Inquire about noisy neighbors, barking dogs, and nearby freeways or major roads that may disturb you throughout the day.

Have I viewed everything?

Leave no stone unturned. Ask about everything: closets, balconies, and outdoor spaces. For condos, have the community spaces checked? Let the agent zoom in on specific features – many times, if needed. If video quality is poor, ask for high-resolution photos.

Has the seller done an inspection?

If so, ask the agent to show you areas of concern based on findings made. If an issue has to be addressed, follow up on whether the seller plans to make the required repairs/updates or not.

Get the most out of virtual home tours in Washington DC and surrounding areas with the team of real estate experts at Heller Coley Reed of Long & Foster. Call 240.800.5155 or 301.674.2829, or send an email to HellerColeyReed(at)gmail(dotted)com.