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Rough and ready virtual viewings more useful than slick ones - agent

A search agent says virtual viewings for prospective tenants or purchasers are useful - but less sophisticated ones reveal more than well-produced versions.

Rachel Johnston of Stacks Property Search says: “Virtual tours are also a good way of having a first look at a property without having to make an unnecessary journey, or go through the difficulties of a viewing for a property that turns out to be quite clearly unsuitable.”

But she warns members of the public not to put too much store by virtual viewings. 


“They have a place, but their limitations should be understood. In the same way that a brochure will show you the best pictures of a property in its best light, so will a virtual tour. In our opinion, the less sophisticated the virtual tour, the more valuable it is” according to Johnston.

She says there remains a lot of caution about physical viewings amongst members of the public concerned about Coronavirus.

So she suggests tenants or buyers should not linger longer than necessary during a physical visit and should take as many notes as possible, and ask the letting or estate agent if they can film their visit on their phone. 

If a physical viewing is considered undesirable, Johnston suggests a very detailed ‘walk-by’ - with the agreement of the agent first.

“Ask [the agent] if they can arrange for you to come onto the grounds, and walk around the outside of the property, looking through windows, and exploring the extent of the curtilage. If you do this with the floor plans and images in front of you, you’ll get a very good impression.”

She calculates you would get around 30 per cent of the knowledge you would pick up with a traditional physical viewing. “You’ll certainly walk away knowing whether or not you want to see more.”


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