Virtual viewings don’t sell homes

Some estate agents believe video viewings will decline now lockdown’s over.

by Graham Norwood for Estate Agent Today

Video tours, heralded as the next big thing just a few weeks ago, are being abandoned by buyers and dismissed as a has-been by a London estate agent.

Becky Munday, founder of Munday’s estate agency in south London proclaims: “With the lockdown restrictions eased, estate agents have been able to go back into properties to value and show round perspective buyers. 

“It’s a huge relief to do this, whilst agents were declaring that it was business as usual with video tours, in all honesty it was not! The take up was low, and no one is seriously going to buy a property they’ve not seen in real life. 

“Buying a property is, for most, the greatest expenditure they’ll ever have, and no one is going to buy something without being able to touch and feel the product. Anyone who’s been buying stuff online knows that the majority of it goes back and you cannot do that once you’ve exchanged [on a property.”

Video tours were quickly espoused by agents and portals when the lockdown meant the housing market was all but at a standstill in much of the UK for many weeks – and still is for a short time to come in Scotland and Wales.

However, while a handful of agents claimed to have sold properties solely through video tours instead of physical viewings, some agents have privately admitted since the market resumption that the technology was unlikely to be used much unless another lockdown is imposed.

Becky Munday is one of the few to have gone on the record. She continues: “It’s great to be back out and about, albeit slightly different not greeting buyers and sellers the same way and social distancing. In my years of selling property I’ve never seen anything like it. 

“We are also hugely busy, with everyone in lockdown the cracks on the wall have literally shown up, and buyers are more encouraged than ever to upsize if they’ve got a family, (or) downsize if their home needs too much maintenance, and those who’ve been flirting with a lifestyle change have now made up their minds.”

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of and its owners.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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