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Virtual home tours during COVID-19: How to get your house ready

A virtual tour can make your property stand out. Now that the National Association of Realtors recommends virtual tours to limit in-person contact while selling and buying a home during the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual tours and access to images are playing a huge role in helping buyers pick and choose which properties they’d like to investigate deeper.

  • For sellers, fewer in-person visits mean the more you can reveal in a virtual tour, the better.
  • For buyers, photography will be more than just a starting point to help you sort the listings. Images will assist in the vetting process.

To make your virtual tour a success, you’ll want to get your house photo-ready.

Choose your medium: A higher-end property might be captured with a 3-D camera, giving each viewer access to every possible angle. But a virtual tour can be as simple as a Realtor giving a narrated tour of the house, smartphone in hand. If you’re wondering whether professional video is better, there is an upside to this reality-based approach — it comes across to buyers as authentic. Whatever you choose, you’ll want to make sure your listing represents the home in a positive but truthful way. Best foot forward? Yes. Glamour shots that disguise serious problems? No.

Declutter the space: When it comes to presentation, the camera and your eye may look at the same thing, but the camera presents a slightly different version of reality. The dirt, stains, and clutter that blend into the background in person will pop out in a photo. Example: In person, countertop appliances are part of a normal kitchen. In the image, even a few appliances create unwanted visual noise. On picture day, packing these up makes for a sharper image. Here are more quick decluttering tips:

  • Edit your furniture: Identify the “statement” piece in the image. As you look through the lens, look for the central thing in the frame that draws the eye. Anything that distracts should be removed.
  • Depersonalize your space: Holiday decorations, family photos, and large pieces of hobby equipment should be moved or packed up for the photos.
  • Free up shelf space: Allow objects to “breathe.” If shelves are packed with books, box up a few.

Maximize your green: House plants add natural beauty and infuse the room with positive vibes. Don’t shy away from letting a house plant or two make multi-room appearances.

Let in the natural light: It always flatters a room. Before the shoot, remove window screens, and, if you have the flexibility, shoot on a sunny day.

Work with an experienced Realtor

When it comes to virtual listings, it helps to have an experienced professional working on your behalf.

They can give you useful feedback in getting your house camera-ready, or connect you with a top-notch house stager.

When it’s time to launch your virtual search, a Realtor with a multidisciplinary background in remodeling and renovation can help you identify the best candidates for your next home. They also can guide you in looking below the surface, so you can properly vet the property from afar before you take the next step forward.

Now more than ever, professional guidance keeps your search focused on your goal: Finding a house you’ll be happy living in.

Looking for advice or trusted professionals to help you get your house ready for the market? Reach out to Scott Haubrich at today by calling 612-298-5400.