While not yet available in San Francisco but coming soon, Redfin has started rolling out interactive 3D tours of homes listed by the brokerage in Seattle.  Powered by Matterport, the virtual walkthroughs are akin to “Google Street View, but for inside the home.”

For an example of the Redfin 3D Walkthrough in action, see the listing for 5310 90th Avenue SE on Mercer Island, a listing for which the list price was just reduced by $100,000 (6 percent).

Other companies are working to commercialize the technology as well and the relationship between Redfin and Matterport is not exclusive.  In fact, you can buy a Matterport Pro 3D camera for $4,500.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Noslen

    Gimmick I say.

  2. Posted by Noslen

    BTW just tried to do the tour, and it isn’t working.

  3. Posted by oscar

    it’s a great start but not a game changer just yet. i’m looking forward to when you can do this in virtual reality like on an Oculus Rift. That’s when something like this will really take off. this will cut down on all the open houses you’ll need to attend. real estate brokers will now have even less to do.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      Why stop there? Go all the way for virtual real estate. Why spend millions on prime real estate when you can just pull the wool over your own eyes? Move into a cheap tract home in Pueblo, CO and wear goggles that convince you’re on Billionaire’s Row.

      You could even devise virtual luxury homes that couldn’t exist in the real world. “Here’s our view of the Golden Gate Bridge and over here you can see the Chrysler building.”

  4. Posted by anon3

    It’s pretty nice for buyers. Really gives a sense of natural light in the house, which is often not evident in photos.

  5. Posted by Futurist

    Won’t ever take the place of a real time walk thru as a buyer.

  6. Posted by taco

    Are you kidding me? This is insanely brilliant! So useful, and exactly what buying should be like on the internet.

  7. Posted by Futurist

    I think it may be a useful tool to get you interested in a property and may induce you to actually GO SEE IT LIVE.

    But no one would seriously spend hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars without thoroughly walking thru a house and kicking the tires, so to speak, of every aspect of the property.

    • Posted by oscar

      Totally agree. But this should save time on weeding out the real duds out there. Those with the messed up floor plans or other “deal breakers” for buyers could be pre-screened. I would also say that this will help with foreign buyers who sometimes buy properties sight unseen (my understanding is that those are usually newer buildings tho).

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      I agree a buyer ought to see the property in person but this does make it easy to tour a lot of homes without the hassle of physically being there. So you can narrow your list of twelve homes down to two before you hit the road to the OHs.

      It is very similar to how google streetview helps understand the neighborhood and the block without having to leave home.

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