With the housing market in the slumps, real estate agents and Internet companies are stepping up the high-tech approach to home shopping. The most popular Web site for homes in the U.S. is Realtor.com, and for several years they have supported the various links to virtual home tours on their site but have only recently upgraded to support a virtual open house. A classic virtual house tour has basically been a series of images you could scroll through or do 360-degree views of room, but it was hard to get a feel for the home as you were seeing it in pieces. With a virtual open house, agents are walking virtual visitors through the home via streaming videos. Walk in the front door and see the entryway and how the home is laid out then visit every room and see how all the rooms are connected as if you were literally walking around the home. If you miss something, just rewind and take the tour again.
It's an interesting idea for sure, and no doubt people will use it. But I find it highly unlikely anyone would buy a house based solely on a virtual tour. People will still want to see the house for themselves in person before making such an important decision.