Zillow 3D home tours could save time and money for house hunters

PHOENIX - Virtual house hunting certainly relieves some of the stress and streamlines the process of finding your dream home. You can pick what you like and don't like just by clicking through pictures.

Outdated fixtures? No thanks. Small yard? See ya.

The technology, which seems to evolve by the minute, certainly saves time for everyone through this process of elimination and we all know time is money. So is gas.

So when Zillow asked locally-based HomeSmart to test out its new 3D home tour app, it didn't take much convincing.

"It gives you an exact feel for the inside or outside of the house," said HomeSmart realtor John Doering. "A lot of people (when looking online) are like where's the laundry room or where's the pantry or what connects to the kitchen? With the Zillow tour, you know."

HomeSmart was selected to try it out for three months. The app allows the user to capture seamless images using a panoramic feature on their smartphone. Those photos are then uploaded to the online listing.

"It used to be you would use $10,000 to $20,000 worth of equipment," said Doering. "Now you've narrowed it down to (shooting footage with) your cell phone standing in the middle of the room."

The potential buyer's view is as if you're standing on the property too. You get a vivid look and feel of the entire room.

"Obviously there are a ton of snowbirds, or investors or people looking for second homes," said Doering. "It's great for those people because they're not here. The pictures don't always do a home justice."

The trial run on the app was successful. The feature is available now on some listings. Doering said he's sold on it.

"If it makes a house more presentable with this 3D tour, that's something we're gonna embrace," he said.
 

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