The owners of a 1970 Dutch Colonial in Arlington are taking advantage of a new technology offered by Redfin to help sell their home.
Launched in the D.C. market on Wednesday, Redfin’s 3D Walkthrough provides potential buyers the ability to “walk through” a property from the comfort of their own couch. With the click of a mouse, you can tour a property room by room, seeing a 360-degree view of each room.
Tonya Nelson, a Redfin agent in Northern Virginia, has four listings taking advantage of this new technology to market the homes and three more coming on the market soon.
“This definitely gives you a view of how you walk through the property and how you walk through the home in each individual room,” Nelson said. “It gives [buyers] a lot more information that’s readily available just sitting in their homes.”
3D tours are the latest tool real estate agents are using to entice buyers. Unlike photo galleries or video tours, 3D tours are more comprehensive, showing you the house from nearly every angle. Nelson sees them as a step up from video tours.
“The problem I always have with video tours is they took forever to download, to the point where people just weren’t looking at them,” Nelson said. “They weren’t using them. I’ve found with these 3D scans, there’s not a lot of lag.”
I tried the 3D Walkthrough of Nelson’s listing at 3648 N. Monroe St., Arlington, which I found on the Redfin listing page for the property. (Scroll down past the photo gallery to the middle of the page.) After it loaded, I had the option of three views: Inside, Dollhouse or Floorplan. The default was Inside.
I found it odd that the tour started in the basement. I clicked on the Dollhouse view so that I could start my tour at the front door. Clicking on the directional arrows in the bottom right corner of the screen allowed me to view the entire room. Clicking on circles in the pictures allowed me to “walk” to different parts of the home.
While it was nice to view rooms in their entirety, I found the functionality of the 3D tour a bit clunky. I was hoping for a more seamless experience. I would get stuck in rooms and not able to navigate out of them. Or I would end up not where I wanted to be.
Redfin claims to be the first national brokerage to offer 3D tours at no additional cost to its listing clients as part of its 1½ percent listing fee.
“I think that [3D tours] get more people in the door,” Nelson said. “We shop with our eyes. When people see something that is visually appealing to them, then they want to go see it and physically touch it.”