Easy on the eye, easier to buy
As we continue to work to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, homes are still being bought and sold, the process is just a little different. The industry has adapted to ensure clients can view homes, albeit practicing social distancing. So, if you’re getting ready to stage your home by way of virtual tour, we’ve got some tips for you. Most of the staging advice you already know will prove to be relevant, but with a few adjustments, you can have your home picture perfect—even 3D picture perfect.
And while these tips are particularly important during the shutdown, they’ll be helpful long after we return to in-person showings, as 3D virtual tours are expected to maintain popularity. According to a National Association of Realtors (NAR) survey conducted pre-shutdown in January 2020, consumers prefer listings with 3D tours and would even consider buying a property without completing a physical tour.1
Some buyers were using virtual tours as a means to save time and really dive deep into a property before making the trip to see it in person. Buyers also tend to share their decision process with friends and family, with approximately 40 percent reporting they consult with family members during the buying process.2 3D technology makes it so easy.
Agents are able to give 360-degree views through 3D virtual tours, VR tours and with use of iPhone and Android video apps or livestream, while buyers can go back and zoom in on certain areas of a home or even use digital measurement tools.
So, let’s get your home camera ready.
Focus on the hot spots
Since shelter-in-place orders began, agents have already seen an increase in buyers’ desire for outdoor space. If you’ve got a front yard, backyard, back porch—show it off. Other highly viewed areas include, living rooms, master bedrooms and kitchens.
It’s still just as important to declutter. Ever gone to post a photo on social media only to realize there’s a dirty laundry hamper, stack of mail or strewn about shoes visible in the background? Some of these things tend to stick out even more on camera. Make sure your counters are clear, your closets are clean, and your shelves aren’t overflowing with knick-knacks and photos.
Spruce up your interior
Just as you’d hope for with an in-person tour, you want the buyer to be able to picture themselves living in your home. If possible, try to stick to neutral color palettes. You can always add a pop of color, but it’s helpful for a buyer to envision their own taste with more of a blank canvas. Particularly important for the camera, you’ll want to open all interior doors and clear hallways and paths to create a seamless flow between rooms.
Make your pictures perfect
Whether you’re taking photos yourself, or someone’s doing a socially distant shoot for you, you’ll want to make sure you have the best images to post online.
- Make sure your lens is clean and use a high-quality camera if possible
- If available, use a 3D camera for the best images
Get the lighting right:
- Turn on all the lights and open the blinds—check for flickering or burnt-out lightbulbs
- Shoot during the day, not at night, and try to shoot on a sunny day when natural lighting is best
Keep everybody out of the shot:
- Make sure all kids and pets are out of the house to avoid background noise and distracting motion in the shot
- For 360° tours, hide behind a wall or a piece of furniture to keep out of the shot and re-take if you or your shadow is visible
Just as there’s no place like home, there’s nothing quite like actually stepping foot inside a home, but this is a close second, and a trend that will later serve as a stepping-stone for the in-person tour. With the technology in place, you can really bring your home to life through the camera lens. Homes with the cleanest, brightest images are going to be the most appealing—helping buyers navigate through these new virtual reality views and providing them with confidence in making buying decisions. The easier the images are on the eye, the easier your home will be to buy.