According to a recent article in the NYT, virtual reality technology could transform the real estate industry and possibly make open houses a thing of the past: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/14/realestate/virtual-reality-to-sell-homes.html?_r=0
Wait – not so fast! While this virtual reality “walk-through” of a property may be a step up from an online video tour, it still doesn’t allow you to get the “feel” of the property – walking around the living room to get a sense of its expansiveness from wall to wall and ceiling to floor. Often times a video and, likely virtual reality goggles, will miss some of the nuances of a property that you can only get by walking through it.
With a virtual tour, you would miss hearing the toddler upstairs loudly running across the floor. Nor would you see the surrounding neighborhood with the home next door that is abandoned and falling apart. But for the out of town buyer who is unable to fly in to view the unit in person, it may be the best option available. My recommendation is if you are spending hundreds of thousands or several million dollars on a property, make the effort to see it in person before writing that offer!