How to Make Your Home Look Great in Virtual Tours: Think Show Home
The demand for virtual property tours is surging as buyers seek a safe way to view and experience properties without having to come in contact with anyone. It allows the buyer the opportunity to take their time from the comfort of their sofa to look at lots of properties at a time that suits them.
Anyone selling a home now or moving forward would be remiss not to include a virtual tour as part of their listing, or to provide an option for prospective buyers to tour a home remotely.
You can work with your agent to create any of the following:
- Live walkthrough or virtual open house
- A Pre-recorded walkthrough
- 3D or 360-degree self-navigable tour
- A professional listing virtual tour video
- Virtual showing (1:1 remote appointment with a buyer — hosted by agent or seller)
A professional listing virtual tour video
Regardless of the type of virtual tour you’re offering, your home needs to look the part. In many ways, prepping for a virtual tour is similar to getting ready for a traditional viewing.
A deep clean, declutter rooms, and depersonalise to help buyers imagine the place as theirs. But with virtual tours in the time of coronavirus, believe it or not, you’ll need to take your prep work to another level.
Here’s how to ensure your home is ready for the cameras.
Clean surfaces so they sparkle. To make your house look amazing on video, spend a little extra time focusing on cleaning techniques that show results visually. Here a few ideas for how to scrub, polish, and buffer surfaces so that they really shine up:
Make stainless steel look like new again
- To remove dirt and dust, start with warm soapy water and wipe down the stainless steel appliance with a cloth. Use a dry towel to get rid of streaks and water marks.
- Using a stainless steel polish solution or vinegar and olive oil — wipe it in the direction of the grain using a microfiber cloth.
Buff kitchen countertops
Clean all counter tops using soapy water. You can then use a polish to give it that extra shine. If you have granite or marble worktops then using a dedicated granite and marble cleaner will help with that beautiful shinny look.
Eliminate streaky window cleanings
Spray your windows using a window spray or homemade 1:1 vinegar and water solution, then wipe them off in a circular motion using newspaper. The lightly abrasive ink cleans the windows more effectively, and eliminates telltale streaks.
Declutter the main areas of the home
Stage your interior with special care. Any clutter you see with the naked eye will look doubly cluttered in the camera lens. Here’s a room-by-room plan you can follow:
Hints and tips
- Stow away countertop appliances, like coffeemakers, toasters, and blenders unless they add to the interest in the room.
- Wipe down all cupboard doors and clean floors
- Have fresh fruit on display in a beautiful fruit bowl.
- Put a fresh bunch of flowers in the room.
- Remove any family photos, memorabilia, trophies or knick knacks.
- Consider removing a chair or two to clear visual clutter and open up the room.
- Put a decoration in the centre of coffee tables
- Have a fresh bunch of flowers or plant in the room.
- Remove all but your essential furniture
- Clear off the tops and remove keepsakes or toiletries
- Toys and clutter should be stored away.
- Mirrors are a great addition whilst making the room look bigger.
- Additional decorative cushions on beds make them more appealing
If there are items you want to keep but don’t have room for, consider renting a a storage unit where you can hide away the items for the duration of your virtual video tour or photoshoot.
Make sure there’s a path for the walkthrough
The camera needs to move from room to room as seamlessly as possible in your video tour.
Here are some spacing guidelines for the perfect path:
- Keep 14-18 inches between sofas and coffee tables.
- Seating, such as chairs or sofas, should be 30-36 inches apart where possible.
- There should be 12-24 inches of space between rugs and the wall.
Not sure if a videographer can walk between furniture? When in doubt, take it out.
Clear out and stage
As a rule of thumb, you should plan to get reduce or relocate 50% of all items for staging purposes.
Tidy power cables and wires
Tidy the jungle of cords coming from TVs and other entertainment systems. This small detail is just another way that visual clutter can overwhelm the frame. Use a cable wrap to bundle the cords together, or hide them using a wall mounted cable cover.
All of these details will ensure your viewers have the best possible experience during their virtual tour of your home. It is worth remembering they can pause, rewind and re-watch the tour. By setting the scene right it will help them envisage your home as their new home.
I have been creating property video tours in Hampshire, Surrey and the surrounding areas recently. A video tour is a great way to show off your home to buyers and reduce the number of physical viewings. Homebuyers can choose when to view your home which may be best for them at 7pm on a Sunday evening which would not suit a seller or their estate agent.