Los Altos Real Estate Blog


Will we shop for homes on our television someday?

I just got a new LG 3D smart television with the Android operating system.  This TV is simply amazing.  It's like a oversized all-in-one computer.  One of the many features is that you can install apps and use them just as you would with a tablet.  Now, what's interesting is that the Zillow app is one of the many home related apps I could install.  It occured to me that on such a large screen, shopping for homes could take on a whole new perspective.


Home Shopping in 60inch 3D Glory!

Imagine looking at a virtual tour and video walk-through of a home in 3D on a 60 inch flat screen.  How cool would that be?  Of course, such a thing would not replace actually visiting the home but you'd have an amazing perspective.  I think such browsing would save huge numbers of hours driving around.  Preview the home on your TV and when it looks good enough to see in person, then you drive.  No 3D?  I'll bet such tours would be just as valuable in traditional 2D.


Neighborhood Tours on the Big Screen

Let's take the concept of home shopping one step further.  How about the burgeoning field of neighborhood tours?  Would taking a virtual drive through a neighborhood on a big screen give a better feel of the place than your laptop?  I'll bet it would.  Could such a thing save time and make the search for the ideal neighborhood faster and easier than driving around in a car?  Yes, I believe so.

With the quality of HDTV, a home buyer could preview miles of neighborhoods in minutes without ever having to watch traffic, wait at lights, or worry about pulling over.  They'd see it all in a matter of minutes from their sofa.  As with touring homes, if a place catches your eye and looks worthwhile - you still need to see it in person. 


It's All About Saving Time

What I'm describing here is a means of cutting down on the "discovery process" in home buying.  Buyers and agents waste a massive amount of time learning about various areas.  Is home shopping on TV coming?  Good question.  I'll look into it.


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 Bryan Robertson, CEO | T: 650.799.9951 | Email: bryan@catarra-re.com | Website: http://www.BryanRobertsonHomes.com |CA BRE# 01191946 | Catarra Real Estate, Inc  | 171 Main St #220 | Los Altos, CA 94022



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Comment balloon 33 commentsBryan Robertson • June 26 2013 10:20AM



If looking at homes is going to be done on a 60 inch HDTV, then agents need to ratchet up the quality of their pictures. I can only imagine what some of the pictures I see today would look like.


Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 5 years ago

Bryan, Congrats on the feature. Thanks for the blog and obviously you are impressed with the LG 3 D model. We have been thinking and looking at buying one now since January. I will consider the LG after reading your blog. Take care.. 

Posted by Robert Bob Gilbert, Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties) over 5 years ago

Enjoyed considering the possibility of this happening. I think it is possible. However, I don't feel that anything will ever take the place of actually looking at properties.


Posted by Team Honeycutt (Allen Tate) over 5 years ago

No question. This is the future. My last 2 buyers have done all their shopping online and then provided me a narrowed down list of properties to view. Wrote an offer on the second buyer last night form their list. 60" on the wall will be better then an Ipad.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) over 5 years ago

Hello Bryan, I worked overseas for the Amercian Embassy with Diplomats, this is the way they would view homes back in late 80's. Of course your TV is much more advanced!

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) over 5 years ago

Considering the TV will be the computer monitor, doubling as a tv, makes total sense.

Posted by Glenn Freezman (Family Abstract, Inc.) over 5 years ago

Hmm, might say us all some time driving around and showing houses. It would certainly keep agents from hiding th ebad things.

Leave out a bedroom? Either it is trashed or you have hired a bad agent. SUpposed to have 2 living rooms, but only one is in the tour? Gotta wonder......

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) over 5 years ago

Our technology is moving faster than most of us can keep up with. Our careers as agents demands that we stay with the flow of new technology just to stay alive.

Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) over 5 years ago

Bryan~ great post- "I think the next 5 years are going to be crazy & (have you seen the 3D Printers).....BTW: WOW the future is upon us and the ride is fast.....


Posted by Jon Kolsky, Licensed California Real Estate Broker (Kolsky Realty & Management) over 5 years ago

These are all great points and you're right about how much time you would be able to save, but I fear losing a special touch that comes with our profession. Being able to step foot into a homes and evaluate whether it's the right one or not; I feel like clients would only want to go to one or two houses if this were to become the norm in the future instead of exploring all their different options.

Posted by Trisha Bush-LeFore, Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area (Preferred Properties Land & Homes) over 5 years ago

Would be great if we can have an agent link on the TV which will automatically connect you with the client and submit offers through the TV for eletronic signature.

All over the course of maybe 10 minutes and you don't even need to stop watching your favorite show that is in playing in the corner of the screen.


Posted by Jay & Michelle Lieberman, Creating Calm in the Buying and Selling Chaos (Keller Williams World Class) over 5 years ago

Bryan, I think it would be goodfor the "discovery process" although I keep going back to people actually seeing the house and walking through it.  I could see where they would be in favor of a neighborhood, or discard it.

Posted by Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI, REALTOR and Broker (Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates) over 5 years ago

Bryan:  Not so absurd, as real estate shopping is possible via some municipality channels and special channels already here in our area.  That said, it's not been consistent ... so I think it's not made the splash that it will at some point in the future.  It seems inevitable that your vision will come true ...


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) over 5 years ago


HGTV has there home contests with schematic of the house and each dot that pulses at you gives a panoramic view of the room while other little camera icons show a video of features in the room. Other icons you hover over tell you about a certain feature.  

This is the future but the future is already here!  It isn't cheap but eventually it will be the standard.

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 5 years ago

Nothing advertising and client interest capture systems can do will take the place of agents. People need to walk through, feel, and really let their other senses get comfortable the property and it's surroundings. Then someone still has to balance negotiations and explain transactions fees, etc.  But hey maybe we will all have robots working for us doing these duties?

Posted by Chris Miller Nevada Land with Water Rights, Land with Water Rights For Sale (Vegas Grand Realty and Property Management) over 5 years ago

I think that the answer is yes, but nothing will replace actually coming out to the home that touring it with your agent.  Nothing can replace this until smell-o-vision is invented.  Touch, sight and smell of a place are all important to our clients.

Posted by Roger Stensland, Let's Move! (Keller Williams Realty Puget Sound) over 5 years ago

Bryan, who'd have thought that you could search for homes on a cell phone a hand full of years back?

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) over 5 years ago

Bryan - in my area of NJ, one of the cable companies has/had this feature.  You could actually search for houses.  It was clunky, at best....

A few agents and companies jumped on the bandwagon, but it was just too slow to really become something I ever came across any consumers really buying into.

But I can see this becoming a standard way of searching...I am a huge Farenheit 451 fan and have always expected a day when we would have our "talking walls".


Posted by Joe Kerouac, Real estate agent and writer over 5 years ago
TVs are becoming computers ... time to start up a Roku channel for real estate?
Posted by Melanie Narducci, Your San FranciscoBay Area Real Estate Expert (Hillscape Properties, Inc.) over 5 years ago

Bryan, wonder if you could install the mobile app for your local multiple listing service.  Being able to check the inventlry on the big screen could make us all really lazy!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Not much different than shopping on a computer or tablet.  I think most people shop that way today already.  

Posted by Jeremy De La Garza, Corpus Christi, TX (Corpus Christi Realty Group) over 5 years ago

Hi Bryan, Great post!  I believe that shopping on the TV for homes is just a matter of time.  I like the idea of creating a video to tour the neighbor to include with the house especially on a 3D 60" TV -- amazing to say the least.  Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Karen Johnson, Realtor, ABR, "Bucks County PA Homes" (Addison Wolfe Real Estate ) over 5 years ago

Fun post, Bryan, but in fact, in some places the home search has started on TV for many years. I used to live in the Palm Springs CA area and real-estate-by-TV was already huge when I arrived there in 1996. Agents conducted virtual tours of their properties right on the hotel room TVs and in homes and vacation rentals across the valley via the televised Real Estate Showcase. They sold homes that way.

Posted by Elva Branson-Lee, CDPE - Atlanta Real Estate & Short Sale Agent (Solid Source Realty GA) over 5 years ago

This is an amazing way for folks to get to know an area.  It is not necessarily the best way for a buyer to buy a particular home.  Agents are not going to take a photo of the steep driveway, the problem with the neighbor next door, the power lines etc.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 5 years ago

Sounds very exciting! Imagine the possibilities! I wonder though if any technology could replace the "gut feel" of a home or community . . . one thing is for sure, it should would help clients narrow down their choices.

Posted by Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (800) 591-6121 (Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes) over 5 years ago
Bryan - I think people will continue to shop for homes, and as tvs get bigger and better, I expect they'll be used more for looking.
Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 5 years ago

It's amazing how much technology is evolving.  Smart move on zillow's part, too.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 5 years ago

Nothing Dick Tracy about video walk throughs, area splashes available at the speed of thought, right now. The distance away from a property or community is poof, gone with sight and sound, not a slide show and Kenny G sound bed real video show and tell.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 5 years ago

I am SO READY for this....and yes, I think that this will be the wave of future for the 20-somethings when they buy...they can already view neighborhoods online....

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 5 years ago

I think that would be wonderful. Definitely can help if you are the type of Realtor who knows how to take pictures.

Posted by Toni Weidman, 26 Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) over 5 years ago

Bet you it is just around the corner. Prior to the housing bust, our local community TV channels had home shows where you could buy ads with professional tours. We used it a few times for only luxury properties due to the cost factor. 

Posted by Dick and Dixie Sells, Realtors, Tampa Bay Florida Homes For Sale (Sells Real Estate, LLC) over 5 years ago

I get emails from people overseas to do inspections on houses they have "researched" on line.  When my report comes back, they are disappointed.  I simply say, you cannot feel the dampness, see the darkness or smell the mustiness on line...

And that's just the start.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Bryan, of course we will! We used to have a real estate channel here but I think it went away a couple of years ago. It was very lame compared to what you're talking about but some people just loved to watch it anyway. Sharon

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 5 years ago

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