The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way people tour their future homes, and more buyers and sellers have begun to rely on this technological tool.

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Whether you're selling your home or house hunting for your forever home, it will come as no surprise that the coronavirus pandemic has greatly impacted the way properties are marketed and sold. Due to social distancing guidelines across the country, buyers may not be allowed to tour a home in person. In lieu of the in-person experience, brokers and buyers alike are turning to virtual home tours to get a fuller picture of properties currently on the market.

Exterior of house in Santa Barbara, California
Credit: Getty / Lisa Romerein

According to a new Zillow report, the real estate site saw a huge uptick in the creation of virtual tours using 3D home, Apartment Therapy reports. The free app can capture panoramic shots of every space in your home, which provides a unique perspective that individual photos don't necessarily offer. Zillow says that for-sale properties with 3D home tours were 22% more likely to sell within 30 days and got 50% more saves than listings without them.

In addition to providing shoppers with a way to tour properties when visiting homes in person just isn't an option, real estate experts say it's a major time saver, too. "A buyer can see two dozen homes in an afternoon, where that likely wouldn't be possible in person when you factor in travel time," Katherine Nelson with Allen Tate Realtors in Greensboro, North Carolina, tells Apartment Therapy. "Plus, buyers can easily go back to see the home again as often as they'd like."

Brokers or sellers may also offer to walk potential buyers through their home via Facetime or WhatsApp video. If you choose to do this, experts recommend that you have excellent lighting, a strong internet connection, and a high-quality smartphone. Of course, there are also downsides to these options. Buyers can't open drawers or closets, feel the hardwood beneath their feet, hear creaky stairs, get a close look at appliances, or hear background noise.

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