March 12, 2021, by Julia Weaver
The real estate industry has been shifting to a digital landscape over the
years, but no one expected the digital revolution to happen so quickly. In
2020, 63% of homebuyers across the US housing market made an offer on a
house sight-unseen, thanks to virtual house tours. Even though it’s a seller’s
market, it’s just as important to make your home shine on virtual house tours
so you can sell your house for top dollar.
Virtual house tour options, such as 3D walkthroughs and video-chat tours, allow potential buyers to still interact with agents and explore every nook and cranny of your home, almost as if they were touring in-person. This means you can also attract homebuyers no matter where they reside. Maybe a potential buyer is currently living in Atlanta, GA and is looking to buy a home in Portland, OR – they can still virtually tour your home, no matter the distance. To stand out against the competition and draw in more buyers, here are 8 tips to make your home shine during a virtual house tour.
1. Enhance your space with the right lighting
Lighting is an essential component when it comes to creating an eye-catching and camera-ready atmosphere, and this is especially true during a virtual house tour. “Your home will look it’s best on camera if you film in the middle of the day. Keep your window shades open and bring in as much natural light as possible to help the room feel larger and look brighter” says Makayla Zurn, the Creative Production Manager at Redfin. “You can even try layering light by turning on lamps and accent lights to create a warm and cozy atmosphere. Just be sure to avoid artificial lighting that overpowers the space too much. “
2. Transform rooms with the perfect paint color
Whether you have faded and scuffed walls in the living room, or a bright orange accent wall in your kid’s room, take this opportunity to repaint the interior walls and opt for a camera-friendly shade. This is an easy and inexpensive fix that 68 percent of realtors recommend. “Lighter, neutral paint colors show best in video while darker colors tend to make spaces look smaller than they actually are,” says Zurn. “If you’re showcasing a room with darker paint it would be helpful to note the measurements of that particular space in the description.”
3. Clear your home of clutter
During a virtual house tour, potential homebuyers will try to imagine your home as their own. This can be difficult if you have areas in your home where things have slowly piled up over the years. But the piles of paper, boxes of toys, and mounds of clothes will surely leave the wrong impression on potential buyers. “Personal items can take a buyer’s attention away from what you really want them to focus on, the features of your home!” says Zurn, “So clear off your kitchen and bathroom countertops, make the beds, and tidy up.” Maybe you have a pile of paperwork in the kitchen, excessive cords in your home office, or perhaps a box filled with board games in the living room. Find permanent homes for items that are sitting out, or donate things you no longer need.
To create a more open and calming atmosphere, try removing an item or two before taking photos and filming. One trick is to clear off any surfaces and then add items back one-by-one until the desired look is achieved. However, decluttering can be an overwhelming task for one individual. Consider hiring a professional to help sort through your belongings.
4. Get your home looking spotless
Cleaning is one of the simplest ways to create an appealing interior. Potential homebuyers will be able to detect a clean home from a dirty one, even over a virtual house tour. Washing mirrors and windows, vacuuming hardwood floors, deep-cleaning carpets, and organizing your closets are just a few tasks that will make your home look more attractive.
The potential homebuyer may even ask the agent to describe what they’re experiencing on the property, including certain odors (pets, kids, food, and other conditions that can make your home smell) and the cleanliness of the home. So make every inch of your home shine, from floor to ceiling. If you don’t have the time to do the job right, hire a professional cleaning service.
5. Stage for a picture-perfect home
Staging is now more important than ever. In fact, according to a recent survey, 83% of buyers’ agents agreed that a staged home helped their buyer picture themselves living there. Presenting a well-maintained home and giving a positive first impression is important when selling your house, so consider hiring a professional home stager to attract more buyers and even increase your sale price.
Begin staging rooms that could influence the buyer’s decision, including the entryway, living room, main bathroom, primary bedroom, and kitchen. Remove or rearrange furniture to make the space appear larger, add an indoor garden to bring in natural elements, and arrange decor in odd numbers to achieve balance. To help potential buyers picture themselves calling your house home, remove any family photos, knickknacks, or keepsakes.
6. Have professional photos taken
Listing photos will be the first thing a potential homebuyer sees of your home and may determine whether they request a virtual house tour. Poorly-lit pictures captured on an iPhone won’t bring in potential buyers, so make your home stand out from the competition with professional photos.
Real estate photographers know the correct lighting, angles, and minor details that give a much better depiction of the home, capture it’s selling points, and attract the attention of potential homebuyers. In fact, research shows that professional photos can help sell your house faster and for more money. If you want to showcase your entire property, capture a bit of the neighborhood, or highlight the breathtaking view, consider having aerial photos taken to offer a unique angle of your home.
7. Highlight your home’s best features
What characteristics of your home attracted you to it in the first place? Was it the new kitchen appliances, extensive breakfast bar, large outdoor space, or simply the open floor plan? Whatever it may be, it’s likely that your favorite features of the home will be what attracts potential homebuyers as well. Be sure to give special attention to these features in photos and during a virtual house tour.
8. Spruce up the exterior
Enhancing your curb appeal is just as important as sprucing up the interior of your home. A well-maintained landscape, lawn, and porch can make a great impression on potential homebuyers and can add perceived value to your home. Remove any dead debris, mow your lawn, and trim the plants or shrubs lining your property. Consider re-staining your front porch, pressure washing the siding of your home, and adding flowerpots to enhance the entryway. And if you have any outdoor furniture, be sure to stage it as you would with your furniture inside.
Virtual house tours are now more important than ever. Be sure to take time and prepare your home for showing just as you would for an in-person tour, and show your home in the best light.