With Covid-19 still having a significant impact on the world, the property sector, like all other sectors, has had to make changes to accommodate best practice. Whilst the UK housing market remains open, the popularity of virtual viewings, at least initially, has grown considerably.

Whilst a physical, in-person viewing is going to be necessary at some point, a virtual viewing can be very useful in the early stages and can save you a lot of wasted time. You might even uncover a hidden gem that might otherwise not have made the cut for a speculative in-person appointment to view.

Virtual viewings can take several different shapes.

There is the ‘live walkaround’ where an agent or homeowner literally walks around the home, videoing and talking as they go. This can be done easily on Zoom, What’s App, Skype or Messenger these days if you own a smartphone. The big advantage to the live viewing is that you can still ask questions whilst viewing and even ask for that extra door to be opened which on a pre-recorded viewing might not be possible.

The pre-recorded viewing might incorporate 3D video or stills, enabling you to take more time looking, in detail, at everything and anything. From a seller’s perspective, a pre-recorded or 3D viewing offers them the ability to really up the production values, improve the lighting and tidy-up the kids things, offering the property in its best light, literally. Some 3D viewings even have measuring tools which can help you decide if that wardrobe will fit in the second bedroom!

Aerial Shots & Video might be reserved for larger properties due to cost, but where they are offered, an aerial shot can be really useful for checking out the neighbourhood, local transport links and amenities. It also helps you check out the neighbour’s garden for old bicycles and unkempt lawns!

Remember to ask specific questions either during the live viewing or after your initial 3D inspection. Make notes so that you don’t forget. And remember, be specific. ‘How old is the kitchen?’ or ‘when was the boiler installed’? Require specific answers.

Finally, remember that whilst you are viewing virtually, you can always check out Google Maps and Google Earth and check similar house prices on any of the main online property websites like RightMove or Zoopla.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

There will be no fee for Mortgage Advice. There may be a fee for arranging a mortgage. The precise amount will depend upon your circumstances, but we estimate it to be between £399 and £599.

Mortgage Required Ltd, Finance House, 5 Bath Road, Maidenhead, SL6 4AQ is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority reference 573718 at www.fca.org.uk.

The Financial Ombudsman Service is an agency for arbitrating on unresolved complaints between regulated firms and their clients. More detail can be found on their website: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk