In a virtual tour, real estate professionals can use the camera to be a homebuyers’ eyes and ears, but they have to function as the buyer’s nose too.
The pandemic boosted use of virtual tours and video walk-throughs, but they still fall short of an in-person tour sometimes. In a virtual tour, real estate professionals can use the camera to be a homebuyers’ eyes and ears, but they have to function as the buyer’s nose too.
A home’s smell adds to an overall impression of a property, and more real estate agents say they’re fielding questions about that from buyers who can’t be there.
Realtor.com recently featured several types of smells that real estate pros will want to be aware of as they introduce buyers to properties remotely.
“While doing in-person tours, the most common odor complaint we get is pet odors – by a wide margin,” John Gluch, a real estate professional and founder of the Gluch Group in Scottsdale, Ariz., told realtor.com. Be aware of lingering pet-related odors that you might need to potentially call out to remote buyers.
Cigarette odors could also be a deal breaker. The odor can linger on carpets, rugs, walls, drapes and ceilings. “Ceilings can be the biggest culprit in a persisting smoke smell in a home, as cigarette smoke tends to travel upward and latch onto the first surface it comes in contact with,” says Jack White, vice president of technical services at Rainbow International Restoration.
Also consider mildew or musty odors that could signal a mold issue. Agents say that’s a common question they’ll get from clients if a home has a basement: Does it have a musty odor?
“I encourage clients to ask their agents to give them the pure, unvarnished truth when doing a video tour,” says Gluch. “That way, everyone can avoid wasting lots of time and energy on a house that the client will end up halting when they finally visit in person.”
Source: “The Nose Knows: 4 Things You Can’t Smell in a Virtual Tour That Could Cost You Later,” realtor.com (May 20, 2020)
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