COVID-19 has shifted the way the world works. In real estate, the pandemic has made technology a necessary part of the home buying and selling process. These technological advancements have allowed people to purchase and offload their properties safely amidst the crisis.
Virtual home tours are one of the best real estate innovations that have roared back to life in the wake of the pandemic. Virtual tours aren’t new; they’ve been around even before the onset of COVID-19. In fact, back in 2018, more than half of the population of the US has taken a 3D virtual tour at least once. The pandemic has just made this option more popular.
According to Zillow, March 2020 saw a record 191% increase in the creation of 3D home tours. Redfin also reported a staggering 494% hike in agent-led video home tour requests from interested homebuyers.
Choosing to include a virtual tour on your home’s listing can give you the edge in getting your property off the market quickly. That said, it is important to prepare your home and get it camera ready. Here’s how to create a virtual tour ready property:
Plan out your route
Virtual home tours require preparation. Winging the entire process can give buyers the wrong impression about the property that you are selling. Especially if you aren’t comfortable in front of the camera, you might forget to highlight aspects of your home that are worth seeing.
Aside from preventing embarrassing mistakes, planning out your route can help you clear a path and prepare the areas of your home that you want featured in the tour. It also gives potential buyers a sense of flow to the home. Moreover, prep work serves to cut down the time you need to show the house.
Declutter your home
Just like in real life, virtual tours require you to stage your home so buyers can imagine living in your house. Therefore, you need to declutter the rooms you intend to show. Remove any family photos and personal memorabilia from the walls. Put away items in your closets or cabinets; you want buyers to feel they’re getting a lot of storage space. To make your kitchen look clean and spacious, clear countertops of small appliances like toasters, blenders, coffeemakers, and the like.
If you’ve mapped out the route of your virtual tour, you don’t necessarily need to clear every square inch of your property. It is best to focus on the areas that buyers care about the most, like kitchens, bathrooms, storage spaces, and, if you have one, a mudroom that buyers can convert into a disinfection room if they wish.
Invest in proper lighting
The impact of lighting on the attractiveness of a space is tremendous. Even a dingy room can look good if you install the right kind of lighting. However, you don’t necessarily have to invest in a fancy lighting set-up in order to achieve your goal.
More often than not, turning on your existing lights or drawing your curtains open can eliminate shadows and improve the overall look of your property. You can also relocate existing floor lamps, table lamps, and mirrors to provide better illumination on the more shadowy areas of the rooms you intend to show.
Consequently, there is also such a thing as too much light. To prevent your video from looking overexposed, consider the best time of the day to film.
Stage each room
With virtual tours, it is a good idea to think of your home as a movie set. The particular parts of the room that is within the frame of the camera should be staged impeccably.
Remove everything that gets in the way of the lens and position your furniture in a way that maximizes the space. Do not hesitate to remove a piece of furniture if the camera makes the room look cramped. Tame cables and turn off electronic devices. If the house is empty, best to rent furniture to make the property more attractive.
Turn to professionals
While it has been around for several years, the idea of virtual tours is still relatively new. If this is your first time selling a home, the process can overwhelm you. Thankfully, you can hand over the job to professional home stagers.
While it is an investment that you should factor into the cost of selling a house, choosing to work with experts can almost guarantee the success of your virtual tour.
Virtual home tours can spell the difference between selling your home fast and having your property sit on the market longer than it should. The success of your virtual tour is a matter of preparation. Turn to an experienced real estate agent to provide expert advice.