Buying a home is a big decision -- and having all the right information can help potential buyers decide whether to make an offer on a property. But in the age of coronavirus, conveying that information is harder than ever to do.
In a pre-pandemic world, a prospective buyer could easily attend an open house or schedule a showing to walk through a home and check out its features. Nowadays, however, in-person viewings are more precarious, given the health crisis at hand.
For this reason, sellers and real estate agents have increasingly begun utilizing virtual walkthroughs to entice buyers. Also known as virtual tours, virtual walkthroughs allow buyers to tour a home without actually setting foot in it.
To be clear, these tours aren't just videos of a property -- they're supposed to be interactive. Using 3D software, potential buyers can view different rooms at different angles and control the pace of their tours so they get all the information they need to determine whether a given property is a good fit.
While some sellers and real estate agents may feel more comfortable going back to open houses and in-person viewings once things improve on the pandemic front, right now, many are falling back on virtual tours. And buyers are on board. In fact, 88% say they plan to do a virtual walkthrough rather than visit a property in person, according to a survey by Cinch Home Services.
If you're new to the world of virtual walkthroughs, here are some tips for pulling one off successfully.
1. Take advantage of natural light
The right lighting could spell the difference between drawing in buyers and turning them off. It's important to have the right lighting setup for your virtual walkthrough. To that end, prepare to open all curtains and blinds to let more light in, and turn on lighting fixtures as needed for darker spots that don't get much sunlight. In fact, it's a good idea to time the filming of your walkthrough to coincide with when your home gets the greatest influx of light from the outdoors.
2. Declutter the space
Any amount of clutter you have will no doubt stick out like a sore thumb in the course of a virtual tour. Before you create that walkthrough, spend some time getting rid of excess items in your home. Clear your kitchen countertops, stuff kids' toys in closets or under the bed where they won't be in sight, and remove mail from your dining room table. In fact, you might even consider getting rid of a few furniture pieces (perhaps stashing them in a friend's basement temporarily) to help make your interior look larger.
3. Play around with different angles
During your virtual walkthrough, you'll want to show off your home's best features. To achieve that, you may need to try out different angles before settling on the right one. Take your time to get it right -- it could make a big difference in how your space is perceived.
4. Play up unique features
There may be certain less obvious aspects of your home that add to its charm, and you'll want to make sure those are included in your walkthrough. Highlight features like staircase details, built-in shelving, or crown molding -- whatever it is that makes your home stand out.
5. Don't hesitate to use a professional
You want your home to sell quickly and at an attractive price, so it may be worth the money to hire a professional real estate videographer for your home's virtual walkthrough. Of course, if you're feeling brave, there's also software you can use yourself, or your real estate agent may be able to set up your walkthrough for you. But this is one time spending a little cash could really pay off.
The Millionacres bottom line
Given where we're at in terms of the pandemic, virtual walkthroughs may be the go-to option for seeing homes in the near term. And even once the pandemic is over, it could still pay to retain that option so buyers can scope out properties at their convenience and narrow down their choices. As such, it pays to invest some time -- and maybe some money -- into your home's virtual tour. Doing so could land you a buyer and help you walk away with a sale price you're happy with.