Potential Problems Missed by Virtual Tours

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

Home buyers need to be award of the short comings of virtual tour when they are unable to do a physically tour of a house.  There are things within a house that are more difficult to identify as potential problems when using a virtual versus touring a house.  This may be overcome somewhat by the person taking the photos being able to identify construction, electrical and plumbing problems.  Your real estate agent also needs to inspect and provide information back to potential buyer.  Up front, a home buyer needs to understand some of the short comings of a virtual tour when making a buying decision.   Following is a list of areas of concern:

Damage under sinks – Virtual tour photos may not zoom in on plumbing features that are leaking.  These plumbing features need to be tested for leaks and adequate water pressure. 

Floors – Virtual tour may not identify soft spots in floors, tile cracks, separation, and damaged grouting.  This type of damage could be the result of more serious problems such as plumbing and pest issues.

Mildew – This can be present behind walls cause by gaps or cracks in grout in bathrooms or elsewhere.  In addition, poor ventilation and poor maintenance may cause this problem.  Many times, virtual tour would not pick up on this problem, usually this is only identified by human intervention.

Bathroom – The toilet is an area of potential problems that may not be identified, unless the real estate agent does some physical inspection, such as: flushing the toilet, checking for leaky seals, and if the floor is solid.

Smell – Odors within a house may be a sign of bigger problem.  Sometimes these odors are mask using air freshers making it more difficult to identify problems with plumbing, and mold.  If the house is on a septic system and there is a strong odor that signals a potential major problem.


In conclusion, most of the above problems can be identified later through a home inspection, but the buyer will probably incur an additional expense.  If buyer were aware of these problems earlier, he may have moved on to another property.  Finally, this is a decision the buyer must make weighing their pros and cons.       

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