Leading estate agency makes first ‘virtual’ sale as student investment market booms

BFHEE Group in Durham says a vendor for a five-bedroom house accepted an offer from a buyer yesterday who had only viewed the property via a 360-degree virtual tour.

durham virtual property tour

One of the UK’s largest student housing estate agencies says it has made its first sale entirely via a 360-degree virtual property tour without the buyer seeing the property in the flesh.

Durham-based Elvet Estates Ltd which also operates BillFreeHomes.com and which is one of the UK’s key student rental and investment property firms, says their client has now had her offer on a five-bedroom house on Hawthorne Terrace accepted by the vendor.

The company recently began using the Eyespy360 platform to market its homes but this is the first time a buyer has won a bidding battle for a property without seeing it ‘in person’ first.

andrew smith“The property market in Durham, and most of the key student cities in the UK, is very lively at the moment but our buyer lives in Sevenoaks,” says Peter Smith (left) of Elvet Estates.

“She kept seeing properties she wanted to buy but by the time she had bought a ticket to come up to Durham to view the houses they had sold, so instead we sent a negotiator to record a 360-degree digital tour of the property on Friday which we sent her later that day.

“She was happy to pay a premium to get the property off the market and made an offer of £410,000 on Monday and it was accepted – the Eyespy360 virtual tour was instrumental in making the sale.”

Virtual property tour

He says the property was about to be vacated by its student residents so wasn’t in the best shape, but the buyer wanted to see it ‘warts and all’ rather than staged photographs before she could make a decision.

“There are approximately a dozen student property companies service most of the market in the UK and BFHEE is one of them and they are looking at slowly rolling out EyeSpy360 across its business,” says Andrew Nicholls of EyeSpy360.

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