Home inspectors and real estate agents alike are showing up with lots of client questions on the validity of virtual home inspections.
Are virtual inspections really a viable option?
Real estate home inspections are a process that’s so tactile, it’s nearly impossible to carry them out remotely. Inspectors need to be physically present to find, observe and note the smallest issues close up. They also need straightforward methods to communicate findings for buyers and real estate agents. On top of that, there’s often a strong emotional component for home buyers and sellers, all of which compounds the practical challenges of virtual home inspections.
Are Virtual Home Inspection Reports Useful?
Because buyers have a specific limited time frame to conduct the home inspection, review the findings and hire any additional consultants, like electricians or plumbers, it’s important that the process be highly efficient. But what if there are factors likely to cause delays… pandemic-related issues have obviously been a big one. Geographic challenges come into play with timing, too.
It’s increasingly common for a buyer to be on one coast and the home to be on the other – like New York City versus San Francisco. International property sales continue to increase, too. All of these factors make it an excellent time to explore new technology when it comes to real estate sales and home inspections.
Virtual reports are one new solution, as opposed to a fully virtual inspection.
An inspector does need to be present at the home to carry out thorough evaluations, but advances in technology now allow him or her to record and present findings remotely in a way that helps buyers feel like they’re physically there with the inspector. So the full onsite inspection takes place, but not everyone has to be in the same place at the same time.
For example, a standard home inspection report includes photos of immediate problems or potential issues, descriptions and cost estimates for solutions. Major and minor concerns get highlighted in text in a way that’s easy to understand for all stakeholders.
Virtual home inspection reports bring these same things to life in a much more active way.
Innovative 3D web-based platforms advance the process and are powerful tools to create virtual home inspection reports. Platforms like SuperViz can be used to create and view reports from any web-enabled device without software or app downloads, making them accessible to anyone, anywhere throughout the real estate sales process.
What Can a Virtual Home Inspection Report Show You?
Here are just a few examples of the ways a virtual report can be a superior inspection tool:
- Exterior – show close-ups of flashing and that there’s no decay in the eaves; use video to demonstrate whether garage doors operate smoothly
- Structural – identify cracks in foundations or uneven flooring
- Insulation/Ventilation – show proper insulation, and adequate venting in locations like laundry, kitchen and attics
- Roofing – identify any wear-down of materials, signs of leaks or abnormal condensation
- Interior – easily show the condition of the ceiling, cabinets and windows, proving no visible cracks, damage or water stains
- Electrical – demonstrate that switches and wiring are in good condition, and ensure no issues such as exposed electrical splices
- Heating and Air – show ducts and piping properly installed, no rust on cooling and heating units, and that safety controls are in place and operable
- Plumbing – make sue piping materials are adequate, no leaks in plumbing components, and that drains work properly
How Does a Virtual Home Inspection Report Work?
Here’s what the virtual report process looks like for real estate home inspections:
- The inspector uses a camera to shoot 360 photos of the home’s exterior and interior. If you’re new to the technology, check out our camera recommendations here.
- Additional photos of features, video and close-ups of deficiencies should also be shot during the inspection. These will be used to add context in the report.
- Setting up the report on SuperViz is then simple. Just upload the 360 photos to create your virtual online scenes of the home.
- A built-in drag and drop feature allows quick additions of your close-ups and video as clickable hotspots. Clients can go back and review this information at any time.
- Deficiency findings can be highlighted with descriptive text, audio or video embedded as links directly in the scene. This provides a way for all documentation to be housed in one accessible place.
- Add-ons like zoom-in links to YouTube videos showing what can go wrong because of specific problems, along with suggested solutions and lists of potential costs can all be dropped into the virtual inspection report.
Home inspectors can use these virtual reports on SuperViz in multiple ways. Each project report contains an invitation link to send to buyers and agents. They can click the link to view the entire thing, or the inspector can virtually walk clients through the space using the built-in video conferencing. The clickable meeting invites are easy to set up and will be familiar to anyone who’s used other online meeting platforms.
So instead of sending out a document with just text and photos of mold and other issues, SuperViz provides inspectors with all-in-one documentation, presentation and video conference capabilities. All findings can be presented in a remote meeting with rich embedded hotspots in a way that makes buyers feel like they’re physically present in the home.
The immersive virtual format of the platform is an incredible way for the buyer and inspectors to feel like they’re physically in the same space together. That’s been a major lacking factor in previous remote home inspection options.
360º meeting technology continues to advance the way real estate processes work. From design to construction and now sales, SuperViz is thrilled to help revolutionize collaboration in the industry. Integrating virtual home inspections into existing systems improves efficiencies in valuation, buyers’ inspections and sales inspections.
Set up a one-on-one demonstration at a time that works for you. Visit our scheduling page here.