Selling your home in a difficult market can be a challenge. Most savvy home buyers browse online so your home’s virtual tour will either help attract buyers or drive buyers away. In many cases, your house will be pre-sold if a buyer falls in love with your virtual tour.
Realtors usually hire a professional photographer for their virtual tours. Unfortunately these photographers rarely will give you extra time so you need to completely stage your home before they arrive. Here are a few tips:
Take Your Own Digital Photos First
Home owners get so used to looking at their homes that they are blind to the flaws. Photos help you study your home objectively from a buyer’s perspective.
Is there a garbage can or kitchen appliances that should be removed? Do your rooms look like Southern Living or a horror show?
Make staging corrections and retake your photos until you are satisfied. If worse comes to worse, you can provide your own photo to replace a professional photo that doesn’t meet your approval.
Study Other Virtual Tours
You can often get ideas from virtual tours of model homes and other Realtor listings. See what others are doing right as well as what they are doing wrong. You can get free ideas from your competition.
Use Magazines for Inspiration
When we moved into our new home, a friend cut inspiration photos from magazines like Southern Living, Coastal Living, Better Homes and Gardens. She matched the concept of the professional photos with our existing furniture and decorative accessories.
Without spending a dime, she made our home look like it had been decorated by a professional. Never would have thought to use pages from a magazine as a guide to the placement of accessories but it was actually a brilliant concept. Using her method, you will end up with a photo perfect interior design for your virtual tour.
Neutralize Your Wall Colors
If a potential home buyer’s furniture clashes with your wall colors, your chance of making a sale is greatly decreased. Even though paint colors are easy to change, buyers don’t want to work so they will often pass on a home that doesn’t fit their decor. Appeal to a wide spectrum of buyers with neutral colors.
Make buyers imagine living in your oasis. Beautiful fresh flowers, fireplace aglow, candles lighting your bath spa, Nature Channel showing on your wide screen TV and festive dinner plates adorning your dining table will make your virtual tour stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Throw a Party
A friend sold her home after a year on the market when buyers came through just before a party. She wished she had staged her home for a party 12 months before. Any staging that helps a buyer feel what it is like to enjoy your home with friends and family will make your home memorable.
Nothing looks worse than children’s toys, clothes piled on the floor, dirty dishes and too many knickknacks. I remember touring a home for sale where every inch of the house was filled with dolls. It was surreal to have thousands of tiny eyes staring at us. You want your home to be remembered for its assets not for its clutter.
When we sold our home, friends could hear echos because our rooms were so bare. People are buying the bones of your house not your furniture. You want enough furniture to look homey and enough empty space to make your rooms look bigger.
Accentuate the Positive
Do you have a lake, mountain or woods view? Don’t hide it with curtains . . . showcase the best features of your home.
Do you have sun room where buyers would enjoy reading a good book or spending quality time with their families? Stage for relaxing or fun activities.
Do you have a great deck for barbeques? Make sure your buyers can relax on your deck and contemplate how they will enjoy grilling steaks with friends.
When we recently staged our home for sale, Realtors touring our house only had positive feedback. In a down market, our home sold in two weeks.
Once you list your home for sale, it is no longer your home but a buyer showcase. Most of us don’t live like Martha Stewart, so stage to attract buyers through your virtual tour.