Virtual Tours: Features To Include & Home Staging Ideas
19 Jun 2020
Although virtual viewings came about as a result of the lockdown, they may continue to be a vital home marketing tool even once restrictions are lifted. Understanding how to conduct a virtual viewing or arrange one with your agent and knowing the key features buyers are looking for will increase the chance of securing a sale using this new method.
Benefits of having a video tourThere are several advantages that arise from viewing a property virtually, such as being able to view multiple properties in one day, it provides more flexibility in the time you could view the property, and you are able to view homes in other parts of the country.
Especially during the last few months, being able to view from the comfort of your own home is a major advantage. This also means that you can view multiple properties in a short amount of time, instead of having to arrange an appointment, and can view it and go back to it as many times as you'd like.
Which features are most important?
The rooms that often carry the biggest weight in the decision-making process when purchasing a new home are the kitchen and the bathrooms. Family buyers are particularly interested in the kitchen, as much of family activity is centred around this hub in the home. During a virtual viewing, it is a good idea to spend a bit more time or make sure these areas of the home are highlighted to give the potential buyer the chance to take it all in and see all the features the rooms have to offer.
Apart from the kitchen and bathrooms, the other areas of the home that buyers are most interested in seeing include the living room, bedrooms and the garden. The lockdown has highlighted the importance of gardens and outdoor spaces for many.
Focus on unique feature of each room, for example period or character features for example, exposed wooden beams, Inglenook fireplaces, high ceilings and sash windows.
It is not all about what you can seeOther aspects you should inform your agent to include in your video tour that most buyers would be interested to know include:
- Heating: Is the home cold or draughty? Good central heating and double-glazing are top on many buyers’ lists.
- Home Security: Seven out of ten buyers say that secure windows and doors are essential.
- Broadband Signal: This is another aspect that continues to grow in importance as working remotely has become the new norm. A reliable broadband signal and strong mobile signal are on the top of many potential buyers’ must-have lists.
- Neighbours: While technology is engrained in our everyday lives, it has not replaced the desire for human interaction. Many buyers want to know what their potential new neighbours are like.
Home staging tips
If it's one of our agents or yourself taking the video, it's important to stage your home as you would for a physical viewing. Our agents are trained to know how to take the best video possible for your property, but here are our top tips to prepare if you currently are living in the property:
- You'll want your virtual tour to begin from outside the front of your home as this is the perfect opportunity to show the exterior of the property, the front garden, driveway or porch if you have one. Move the bins as well as all cars from the driveway before filming. Consider power washing your front stoop or driveway to make sure the first thing prospective buyers see is spotless. Wash down your windows to remove any grime and dirt cause by pollution, too.
- Open all doors before filming. This will make the viewer feel welcome, your home appear more spacious, and will prevent any fumbling around with door knobs so your filming will be seamless.
- You want every inch of your home to appear squeaky clean, as you would for a physical viewing. Make sure all counter tops and shelves are clear of clutter and personal items, dust every nook and cranny and present your home in its best possible light.
- No one wants to view a dark and dingy looking home, particularly on video. Your home should appear bright, airy and give the illusion of plenty of natural light. Make sure all curtains and blinds are fully drawn, turn on any lights and lamps, and intricate fairy lights or mood-boosting colour-changing LED lights to signal warmth and comfort.
- For those of you with young children, your home can easily become cluttered with toys and games. Ahead of the viewing, make sure they are all tidied up and out of sight. Prospective buyers are viewing your property looking for a fresh start. If the buyer doesn't have children of their own, they may find this off-putting as well.
- While you will want to clean your home and get rid of clutter, you'll also want your home to feel lived in, so that the buyer can also envision themselves living in the property, so sell the lifestyle. It may be a good idea to store away personal items. The items you will want to keep on display can include flowers in vases, house plants, a fruit bowl and candles. All rooms of the house do not need to be included in the video (keep the junk room door shut!).
- Style your dining room table to appeal to the viewers. In between meals, you may be prone to leaving your dining room looking rather bare, but by styling the room, indlucing a centrepiece, or a few smaller decorations down the centre of the table, will set the scene of the roomand make it feel much more welcoming.
As summer is fast-approaching, you'll want your garden to appeal to the buyer, and showcase how it can be used during the warmer months. Start off with the basics by mowing the lawn, power washing the patio, clipping the hedges, removing any weeds or dead plants and brushing away fallen leaves. Make sure your dustbins aren't overflowing with rubbish and tidy away items such as your hose, lawnmower and bikes. If you have outdoor furniture, make sure it's clean and well-staged and consider adding some outdoor lighting to set the ambience.
Contact us today
Our agents are trained and equiped to take the best possible video tour for your property, take a look at our Jan Forster Estates YouTube channel for examples of video tours taken by our agents as well as vendors themselves. If you're looking to sell your home during this challenging time, contact your local branch who will be on hand with virtual solutions to help you on your journey.