In the time of COVID, another obstacle has been added to the process of selling your home: being unable to have potential buyers physically visit your property. Luckily, we also live in an era when technology keeps us easily connected with one another. Virtual open houses are a great way of inviting people into your home, even if they aren’t able to visit it in person.
What is a virtual open house?
A virtual open house usually takes one of two forms: you can either pre-record a video tour of your home or have individuals use a video conferencing service to get a personalized walk-through of your home.
A pre-recorded video tour is a great way of showing people the entirety of your home. You can take your time going through rooms, and highlight all the great features of each one.
When viewers access the video, they can control the speed at which they view the property, lingering on details or skipping sections as they feel appropriate. The pre-recorded video can be hosted on your agent’s website or sites like realtor.ca.
Tip: When creating a video tour, consider including “chapter markers” for each room. That way, viewers can easily navigate to the rooms that they are interested in taking a closer look at.
A video conference is a great way to offer potential buyers a personalized tour of your home. By using a service such as Zoom or Skype, you and your agent can walk individuals through your home, answering questions as you go along.
With you acting as the potential buyer’s virtual eyes, you are providing them with a great opportunity to see the house as they would if they were visiting in person. They can ask to see rooms again, to focus on features, and to see areas of interest that you might not have considered.
Be aware: If you are thinking of offering personalized virtual tours, be advised that these can take much more time. A virtual tour requires you to physically escort each party on the walkthrough, answering questions as you go along.
The benefits of a pre-inspection
In a hot housing market, you might not necessarily want to have a pre-inspection done. While offers on homes used to be conditional on inspection, nowadays many people are not requiring this when putting a bid on a home.
If you’re selling your home virtually, though, you might want to consider having one done. By providing the report to interested buyers, you demonstrate confidence in your asking price and allow them to see in detail exactly what they’re going to get.
A self-initiated pre-inspection might cost you up-front, but you can account for this cost in your asking price.
Photos, photos, photos
When selling your home virtually, be sure to take good, high-resolution photos of each room. Pictures taken from a cell phone probably won’t cut it: spending the money to hire a professional photographer is not a bad idea. Having proper lighting and using a professional camera can liven up any room, showcasing the space in the best light possible.
You’ll want to ensure that you take photos of your rooms from multiple angles, normally one as you enter a room, and one facing the entrance door. This provides people with a better sense of space than a single image would.
Tip: If a room you are going to be showcasing is presently empty, be sure to add a few objects into it. Placing some furniture in a room not only makes the photos more attractive, but it also gives people a sense of the size of the space.
Selling a house can be stressful. Selling a home virtually adds a whole new layer to that stress. But by considering how potential buyers will engage with “virtual tours,” you can mitigate some of the problems you might face. Take the time to speak to your real estate agent before listing your property to discuss what types of virtual-options are available to you.
Do you have experience selling your home virtually? Share your story in the comments below.