What is the dream scenario of anyone getting ready to list their home? Maximizing the odds of selling it quickly and getting the desired dollar amount, or more. Luckily, these hoped-for results are within a stone’s throw. Besides the undeniable benefits of expert advice, real estate professionals widely believe that the combo of learning how to prepare your home for a virtual tour and a well-executed and impactful video representation is golden.
“Hollywood is the entertainment capital of the world! Shouldn’t your home be the star?” – Finneus Egan.
And really – should it not? Finneus Egan, an expert real estate agent with over twelve years of experience, believes in using modern technological innovations and video marketing to give each home the attention and exposure it deserves, regardless of price point.
Virtual experience in the real estate industry has been incredibly well-received by both buyers and sellers. And this should come as no surprise. Providing as much info on the home as possible and accentuating its unique features is a fantastic chance for sellers to give themselves an edge and stand out from the competition! On the other hand, buyers can approach such listings feeling less risk and sensing a lot more confidence. Still, it all comes down to making sure that everything is 100% show-ready. You can be sure that this will guarantee a beautiful showcasing of your property.
Invest in staging
We can dwell at length about creating a great first impression, but, in a nutshell, we’ll call it staging. When preparing the property for a video tour, sellers should strive to create a beautiful backdrop for what matters the most to the buyer – creating moments that will stay with them and their family for life. Staging has a significant effect on the sale price of your home and its time on the market. A robust body of surveys lets us know that more than 80% of buyers were able to visualize the house as their own and find their dream home more easily, thanks to the effective staging.
Make it spotless
Buyers interested in your home should be able to easily picture themselves living there, so you don’t want to have anything that will detract from the interior’s cohesiveness. The camera lens will pick up on any stains and dust and make any clutter you see with the naked eye look doubly cluttered. So, presenting a clutter-free, squeaky-clean, and well-maintained space is a must when it comes to making a great impression during your virtual tour.
You want to highlight those features of the home you initially fell in love with. Clutter can take the spotlight away from these features and make it seem like the house has less space. So, it’s time for editing down to just the basics. Once you get the clutter out of the way, focus on making every square inch shine. Remember, your goal is to make everything appear new.
Patch and repair
This may be the perfect time to tackle all those tiny nicks, holes, scratches, and all other impurities that may signal neglect to your potential buyer. However, making your home camera-ready might require you to focus on any areas that could use a little TLC. While this could jack up your spending, keep in mind that it will increase the home’s value. A property with beautiful and updated features is more likely to suit the buyers’ vision of a perfect home.
Just a few coats of paint can work wonders to transform a dated space and give it a more modern feel. Fixing what’s underfoot is of equal importance. Dirty and stained carpets are hardly anyone’s décor of choice, so make sure to steam clean them or replace them if beyond repair with a new plush carpet that will appeal to the buyers. Similarly, refinish your hardwood floors if they are in poor condition, and upgrade the kitchen bathroom floors with ceramic tile, stone, or high-quality vinyl tiles that mimic those more expensive options above.
Another important shot of a virtual tour is the exterior of your home. So, make sure you show it a little love as well. Curb appeal can make or break the deal even before your cameraman arrives through the door. Do whatever is necessary to make it presentable; for instance, move trash cans and any eyesores out of sight, clear the walkways and give the landscaping a facelift.
Find balance in style
Try to keep everything neutral if you can because people can sometimes have trouble overlooking a design scheme that is not their style. With a relatively neutral balance in terms of color palette and furniture style, you will achieve a cleaner, more sophisticated look that will both flatter the interior and appeal to a broader audience.
However, you want a cohesive space that’s not cookie-cutter. You might think that all-white walls are ideal because a blank slate would allow the potential buyer to envision his or her own décor. However, choosing a warmer neutral for your wall paint is actually a much better choice. The space should still look livable and show some character, and that’s where you find that perfect balance that will awaken interest in a buyer and raise the home’s value. Finally, adding some stylish décor can give the space a cozy, welcoming ambiance, and a few potted plants will invite freshness into the area.
Stage and prepare your home for a virtual tour by incorporating a few final touches. Here are some ideas to help your home stand out from other listings:
- Make the buyers feel like they’re already at home by dressing the coffee table in your living room with a vase of flowers, and add a neatly folded newspaper next to it. Allow plenty of natural light in by removing those heavy draperies and opening up the blinds.
- Make the bedroom look spacious by leaving no more than three pieces of furniture in it. Go with a bed, a nightstand, and a dresser. Then just add a splash of color by placing some throw pillows neatly on the bed, a small potted plant on the nightstand next to it, and some artwork to bring some life to the walls.
- Refresh your kitchen cabinets with a new coat of paint, and update the old hardware. Spruce up the countertops with a decorative mason jar filled with your best wooden serving cutlery set. Finally, place a bowl of fresh fruit on your kitchen table. These are the kind of details that take everything to the next level.
- Give your bathroom a spa-like feel with some scented candles, fresh flowers, or calming scents from a beautiful potted orchid. Add fluffy white towels on the bathroom counter, but don’t leave the toiletries, toothbrushes, and razors on display. Instead, pack them neatly under the sink for staging purposes.
- Don’t forget the outdoor areas for curb appeal. Keep the yard beautifully manicured, give the front door a fresh pop of color, flank the entryway with flowers, and lay down a new welcome mat. If you have a porch, add a hammock, a café table, and a few chairs.
- Last but not least, make sure to depersonalize every room. As a home seller, your goal is to appeal to as many buyers as possible. So, this may not be the time to be sentimental.
Make the layout camera-ready
An open and walkable layout will help the buyers navigate the space and visualize their own furniture in each area. So, make sure to remove all extraneous furniture (anything that’s damaged, old, oversized, or not matching with the rest of the room) and rearrange the pieces that are left to make the interior feel as spacious as possible. Doing so will also help the camera to move as seamlessly as possible throughout the house in your video tour. If you feel like you lack space in your home, storage units are the perfect place for extra items you don’t need or may want to get out of the way temporarily for the shooting.
…and the atmosphere, too
The right lighting has the power of making any space look its best on camera. The harsh, artificial lighting can overpower the area too much, and the yellow glow of the ceiling and task lighting can make the space look darker on film. This is why the middle of the day is the best time for your virtual tour. Open the window shades to bring as much natural light as possible to enhance the space, and help it feel larger and brighter.
A once-over before the shoot
Finally, use the camera to walk the home before the actual photo shoot. This is the perfect opportunity to get a sense of how each room looks on film, test the lighting in each space of your home, see if anything stands out, and catch any areas you may have missed during the staging and prepping of your home. Be thorough in your once-over. Checking every detail will help you correct any issues before the shoot and better prepare your home for a virtual tour.
Prepare your home for a virtual tour
The power of technology in showcasing real estate is undisputed. “I really think that it makes that much of a difference when you can actually see the walkthrough of the layout of the place.”, explains Egan, “And you get such a higher-quality of a clientele walking into your house. They already have the feeling that they know you, and they know the layout, and they’re interested.”. As a seller, you can embrace the benefits of technology and take on an entirely new role in the sales process. No one knows the personality of your home better than you. Being able to share that personality is why you are the best person to prepare your home for a virtual tour and attract the attention it deserves.
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~Finn Egan 310-266-4650