May 13, 2011 2:57 pm
RISMEDIA, May 13, 2011--As most buyers now turn to the Web to begin their home search, sellers in today's market are relying on virtual tours for that crucial first impression. If you are selling your home, take some time to get it virtual-tour and open-house ready to interest more buyers and entice a faster sale.
Virtual tours show buyers a 360-degree view of the interior of a home and allow them to narrow their home search conveniently from their personal computer. Since potential buyers will be sorting through hundreds of photos and virtual tours throughout this process, it is important to understand that your home looks different through the lens of a camera than in person.
Just as you would prepare for an open house, prepare for your virtual tour shoot by removing clutter. Move personal belongings out of sight or use this as an opportunity to donate or throw away items that you no longer use. The goal is to maximize the space of your home and depersonalize it enough to allow potential buyers to imagine themselves living there.
Here are some tips to help cut down the clutter:
-Remove excess furniture to make rooms look larger.
-Clear off the kitchen counter and hide everyday items, such as kitchen utensils, toasters, hand soap and magnets on the fridge.
-Store children's toys, bicycles, gardening tools and other clutter out of sight.
-Place toiletries and cleaning products in cabinets or closets. Most virtual tours will only photograph the major rooms in your home.
-Take family photos off of walls and shelves while the home is being shown.
-Recycle old magazines and newspapers that take up extra space throughout the home.
The next step is to give your home a good, thorough cleaning. Since cameras often capture more than the eye can see, it is important to spend some time cleaning your home from top to bottom. Areas that are often overlooked during the cleaning process include windows and stainless steel appliances. Be sure to keep them streak free and clean to ensure the best photo.
Another cheap way to prepare your home for buyers is to brighten it up by replacing old or dim light bulbs. Consider using a higher wattage light bulb in rooms or areas that don't get direct sunlight. You can also add a brightly-colored throw or vase to lighten up a space that has dark flooring or furniture.
Some other tips to consider for the virtual tour include:
- Take your own digital photographs to see how each room looks on camera.
- Get layout and style ideas from home and design magazines.
- Don't forget about ceilings and floors. Most virtual tours today show all angles.
- Limit seasonal decorations.
- If exterior photos are included, park vehicles elsewhere and make sure your lawn is freshly mowed and garbage cans are out of sight.
Source: The Chicago Association of REALTORS