Sell Your Home with Virtual Video Tours

Going beyond 360-degree tours, video brings a new dimension in home marketing.

ByABC News via GMA logo
February 18, 2009, 4:22 PM

Feb. 19, 2009 — -- As the economy continues to suffer, real estate agents across the country are feeling the pinch.

But many hope that a new selling technique called video open houses could help curb the decline in sales.

"You capture all the essence of the fireplace going or the fans moving," Anthony Benton of told "Good Morning America." "Just little things that make you feel like you are in that room. You are actually there."

With half of Internet users regularly watching video on the Web, it was a market real estate agents simply could not stay away from, and myriad production companies have sprung up that specialize in shooting videos for home sales.

Not too long ago, 360-degree static tours -- often just a string of still photographs stitched together -- were the height of virtual tour technology. Now these production companies are helping real estate agents take the tours to the next level.

"It's much more dynamic, much more succinct, much more quality flow than the old snap-and-shoot photos allowed," Dale Mattison of the National Assocation of Realtors said. "So it just brings a new dimension, a new reality to the experience for the consumer."

The videos tilt up to show off soaring ceilings, zoom in on gourmet appliances or peek out the window to show off charming neighborhoods -- and it's all professionally narrated.

The videos only cost a few hundred dollars and the fee comes out of the agent's commission, just like traditional advertising. But unlike signs on the road, the virtual tours can reach buyers across the nation.

"It's helping to get a lot more showings and I think a lot of the clients appreciate it because we're doing as much as we can in this market," Keller Williams Realty agent Geno Ross said.