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Residential real estate buyers meet virtual reality

Almost all consumer products are available on the internet, and the online shopping facilities offered by many have changed the way people in Alberta and elsewhere do business. There is talk that even residential real estate deals will be done online in the not too distant future. A recent study determined that 90 per cent of recent home purchasers in Canada searched for houses online. Many of those people might also have researched financing options online and then made online contacts with the agents.

Reportedly, virtual technology will allow potential home buyers to have the virtual experience of living in a home for a few days. A founder of a virtual reality business in Canada said this could be done before a home is even built. Potential purchasers can virtually move about, make changes where they want, and even experience the view when they look out the window.

By putting on a head set or downloading an app on a smart phone, buyers can navigate their own real estate experiences. It may not be long before there is no longer a need for real estate brokers or agents. However, it was mentioned that the high cost of such endeavours would -- for now -- only be justified for expansive complexes.

Nevertheless, advances in technology happen at a fast pace, and virtual real estate purchases may not be too far in the future for residents of Alberta. After living in a virtual house for a while, the entire process -- including getting a mortgage -- may then be done with online applications, uploading documents and more. However, one aspect that will not likely be replaced by virtual reality is the support and guidance of an experienced residential real estate attorney who can protect the best interests of the buyer throughout the dealings with a virtual agent.

Source: business.financialpost.com, "How about trying on a home for a few days, just to see if it fits?", Garry Marr, July 28, 2017

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