With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping buyers close to home, video tours of seller’s homes are in greater demand than ever. If you are selling your house, it’s vital to make it look its very best in a video home tour. Here’s how to get your place ready for showtime!
The camera sees all
It’s always been important to stage a home before shooting a video tour. But today’s buyers may make offers without ever setting foot in your home. That means the tour needs to peek inside closets, pantries, cabinets, refrigerators and even drawers to allow would-be buyers to see everything they would check out if they toured your home in person. Since you can’t rely on keeping undesirable elements out of sight, off-site storage is your friend when you are prepping for a video home tour.
The first step is decluttering
Cluttered houses are a turnoff under any circumstances, causing buyers to think your space is too small for them. But clutter looks doubly bad on screen. Give your home a clean, minimalist look by focusing on these areas as you prepare for your video home tour.
- In the kitchen, clear counters of small appliances such as toasters, mixers, and coffee makers. Declutter and organize your cabinets and drawers, moving unnecessary cookware, dishes, serving pieces, glassware and the like to storage. Organize your pantry and refrigerator.
- In bathrooms, clear the counters as you did in the kitchen. Pare down stacks of towels in the linen closet so the storage doesn’t look cramped, and declutter vanity drawers and medicine cabinets. (It’s a good idea to hide any medications before shooting a video home tour, not to mention valuables and other items you don’t want the public to see.)
- Drastically reduce the contents of your closets, then hang clothing with equal spacing between each piece. Make sure all hangers match and face the same direction.
- If rooms are crowded, remove some furniture. Arrange what’s left with sufficient space in between, as a room looks small if the furnishings are too close to each other. In the living room, for example, seating should be 36 inches apart, and the space between sofa and coffee table should be about 18 inches. Area rugs should be a foot or two from walls.
- Throughout the house, remove knickknacks, sports trophies and family photographs from shelves and walls. Tuck the cords of audiovisual equipment out of sight.
- Clean out the garage and neatly organize the yard implements and tools you need to keep there.
Cleaning before a video home tour
Your home needs a good, deep cleaning before a video home tour, just as it would if you were showing it in person. Consider hiring a professional maid service to make your house sparkle. But if you want to handle this job yourself, focus on the following.
- Since the tour will begin at your front entry, make sure that area is swept and dusted. Retouch paint as needed.
- Sweep, dust and/or vacuum floors, and mop where possible. Remove all spots from carpeting.
- Remove all smudges from painted walls. Touch up paint where needed.
- In the kitchen, clean counters thoroughly with warm, soapy water. Rinse, then buff with cooking oil on a microfiber rag to make them gleam.
- Thoroughly clean the inside of your refrigerator. If your refrigerator and other appliances are stainless steel, use a special cleaner to shine them, making sure not to leave streaks.
- Clean all windows inside and out to let in as much natural light as possible.
To ensure your video home tour looks its best, bring as much light as possible into your house.
- Turn on every light, even if you are shooting the video in the daytime.
- Open or take down blinds and curtains to admit the maximum amount of natural light.
- Make sure all light bulbs work. Decide on one type of bulb, such as LED or fluorescent, and use it consistently in all outlets to create even lighting.
- Eliminate shadows and dim areas as much as possible.