With many of us staying at home more, buyers have more time than ever to view properties from the comfort of their homes. Many real estate agents have already made virtual house tours part of their marketing strategy, but during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s become a must-have.
“Virtual home tours allow potential buyers to ‘walk through’ the property using FaceTime or via detailed 360-degree views of every room and outdoor areas,” explains Nick Boyd, Head of Growth for Belle Property. “It is a fantastic selling tool that expats have long favoured, and now, it’s being embraced by many local home buyers.”
So, whether buyers are requesting a private viewing of your property, or jumping online for a virtual open home, there are several things sellers should be doing in and around their properties to present them at their best.
Declutter and minimise
The more spacious a home appears, the greater its appeal, which is why Nick recommends decluttering the entire house before having it filmed and photographed.
“You want potential buyers to be able to imagine themselves in the property, so unlike photography, where you can tuck things away out of sight, when you create a virtual tour the camera literarily picks up everything in the room. So, clean up and remove any items from the room you don’t want to have seen,” says Nick.
If your home is still furnished, make sure you arrange your furniture so that rooms don’t seem crowded and that the ‘walk through’ is smooth. Rearrange or remove items that may look out of place, such as pet-related items, bins, appliances, and any personal items, including framed photographs and fridge magnets.
Depending on the technology used in creating the virtual tour, one of the features buyers love is having access to 360-degree views of each room of the house. Buyers can pan up, down and sideways. And even if the technology used for your virtual open home doesn’t allow for that, still photography and video are also known to pick up the smallest of detail.
With that in mind, whether you hire professional cleaners or choose to do it yourself, every aspect of the home needs to be cleaned thoroughly – dust, vacuum, wash floors and benches, scrub walls, windows and tiles.
Light-up your interiors
When preparing your home to be filmed, remember well-lit home presents better. Make sure all light fixtures are working and draw back the curtains. If any areas in the house are not lit well, look to add extra lighting in the way of lamps into that space.
Gardens and entertaining areas
Sellers pay a lot of attention to the interiors of their home, but Nick says beautifully maintained gardens, entries and outdoor spaces add a lot of value to a property. With many virtual tours beginning at the front of the house, the curbside appeal is just as important online as it is in person.
“Pay attention to the front and back of your property, mow the lawn, prune the hedges, plant fresh flowers, and again, declutter and remove any personal items. You want to showcase the best use of this space,” explains Nick.
People are more online now then they have ever been before, take advantage of this time and get your house ready for virtual home tours. And if you’re choosing to hold out until the spring selling period, now is the time to tackle a few home projects so that you can be ready for when people can start doing walkthroughs again.