Looking for any way to save time, Fort Worth, Texas, attorney Mark Lane rented a vacation home he found on the Internet.
Using a new three-dimensional technology, he's confident that although he's never seen the property itself, it will be just what he wants.
"You can scroll around, look up and down, and do a 360 on the photograph if you like, but you see what you're renting," says Lane. "My wife and I were just real excited about that."
But it's not just rentals. Movie star Will Smith actually bought his $3 million home after taking only a virtual tour of the house. And Eddie Fisher's Hollywood home is currently on the virtual Web tour.
"What you end up with is a picture that allows you to step inside the picture and look all around, as if you're inside the picture," says Jim Phillips, CEO of Interactive Pictures Corp., a company that develops interactive imaging for the Internet. "Do that from anywhere in the world at your convenience."
|Mark Lane rented a vacation home he found on the Internet.|
Some realtors worry the online trend could make their services obsolete. Others are eager to integrate cyber-sales.
"It gives the buyer the opportunity to get into the market and gives them a little edge," says Leah Brenner of Caldwell Banker.
An edge and a lot less hassle when making the biggest purchase of their lives.