Getting Your Home Ready For A Virtual Tour

Virtual tour – to do or not to do?  My thought is that with more and more buyers using the internet to find their new homes and condos, properly done photos and a virtual tour are a must.   My team and I work with a great company that provides our clients with a virtual tour for their homes and condos.  I thought today would be a great day to share some of the advice that they give my clients who are getting their properties ready for their services.  If you’d like more information about any of the information below please contact me directly.

Getting Your Home Ready For A Virtual Tour

  • Understand the camera’s perspective.  The camera’s eye is very different from the human eye.  It tends to magnify clutter and poor furniture arrangement.  If you’re having a hard time imagining what the camera will pick up try snapping some of your own pictures – this will give you an idea of what your home will look like through the eye of a camera.
  • Make sure your home is sparkling.  Cameras tend to magnify dirt and grime so make sure each room is spotless.  Don’t forget to inspect the floor coverings and walls; a discoloured spot on the rug might be easy to overlook in person but the camera has a way of making those imperfections a focal point!
  • Keep the kitchen and bathroom fixtures and appliances sparkling clean! Don’t leave dishes in the sink, remove and replace any dirty towels (make sure to fold them nicely!), don’t leave dirty clothing on the bathroom floor and clean all counters and mirrors.
  • Hide your remotes, magazines and newspapers.
  • Make sure to properly make up your beds!
  • Rearrange and pare down the furniture.  You want the space to look as large as possible so don’t crowd your space with unnecessary furniture – start by identifying one or two pieces that can be removed from each room.  Rearrange your furniture so that your room has a nice flow.
  • Pack up the clutter on your counters and flat surfaces. The goal is to make these spaces look large.  Try to limit yourself to 3 things on each surface and vary the height of each item.  For example, on an end table you can place a lamp (tallest height), a small plant (medium height) and a book (lowest height).
  • Keep your pets away from the house when you are getting your photos and virtual tours done.  I think this one may be self-explanatory but if you’re wondering – they can get in the way and may distract the camera person and (believe it or not!) some people aren’t pet people!
  • Keep yourself away from the photographer!  It’s best to be at least a few rooms away – people in adjacent rooms may be visible in the finished product.
  • Make sure ALL of your lighting is working and that ALL fixtures have working light bulbs.
  • Avoid scheduling your appointment on garbage day.  You may be able to get your bins out of sight but trying to move all of the neighbourhood bins can be difficult!
  • Don’t forget to clean up outside.  Remove weeds, mow the lawn, trim the bushes, sweep up the porch and put away any toys, bikes, rakes and any other clutter that has been left outside.
  • Move your vehicle from the driveway and curb in front of your home.
  • Make sure your home is ready BEFORE the camera person arrives!  Don’t leave last-minute fixes and repairs for the morning of your appointment.  Some companies will give you some extra time once they arrive – but not a lot!  You’ll either end up unhappy with the results or unable to reschedule in time to get the finished product back in time for listing day.

Getting your home ready for a virtual tour is an important step in getting your home ready for the market.  Taking the time to properly prepare for the photo shoot will certainly show in the finished product and will also help you to be ready for the first prospective buyer when they make an appointment!  Remember, keep you home in shape for the entire time it is on the market – you want buyers who liked what they saw online and in print to encounter the same home when they come in person!

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