At PulteGroup's Starkey Ranch community near Tampa, Fla., and at its active adult community The Retreat at Carmel in Carmel, N.Y., home buyers can now don goggles and take a virtual tour of their potential future home

"The VR experience is a phenomenal selling tool, especially with a new community like Starkey Ranch that still has its model homes under construction," said Sean Strickler, division president for the West Florida operations in a press release.

The virtual reality experience at Starkey Ranch is based on live tours, which means that PulteGroup took existing, decorated homes that exist in other communities to create the virtual experience.

The Retreat at Carmel by Pulte Homes, about 10 minutes from Westchester County, New York, offers 27 stacked flat condos and won't have a designer-decorated model in place until summer of 2017. The community offers a virtual reality experience using computer-generated imagery (CGI) onsite at the community, said Matt Roesch, vice president of sales for the Company's New Jersey/New York operations.

"For many homebuyers, it can be very difficult to visualize the depth of a space or imagine themselves living in a particular home," Roesch said in a press release. "With our sales model still several months away from completion, we needed out-of-the-box thinking to get buyers into the community and comfortable enough to sign a contract. It has definitely helped drive traffic and led to about a third of the stacked condos sold."

Interested buyers can visit the sales center to experience the virtual tour on a big screen TV while using the goggles to walk around every space in the home. The goggles are plugged into the consumer's smartphone and experience it either in the sales center or even when they're home.