As of this spring, the coronavirus epidemic in the United States has brought dramatic changes to the way we live, work, and pursue goals—including the goal of buying or selling a home.
While real estate has been identified as an essential service under state restrictions to disrupt the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we pivoted our operations to prioritize the safety and security of our community and our clients. One way we’re doing this is by expanding the use of virtual tours, showings, and walk-throughs.
Especially for home sellers, we put together these tips and best practices you can use to prepare your home for a virtual tour.
Think of your home as the star of its own movie. Your Barker real estate broker is the director and camera crew. Before the cameras start rolling, you can help your Barker broker get your home ready for its close-up.
Don’t stress out over the length of this list! These are all things you would do to get your home ready for company. The time you invest in prepping will go a long way to making your home look its best—and wow your potential buyers. When it’s time to say “Lights, camera, action,” your property will be ready to make its star turn.
Bonus: We’ve added exclusive listings that feature virtual tours. Whether you’re a home buyer or a home seller, check out these examples of how we’re supporting our community and our clients while following social distancing guidelines.
Exterior and Entryway
Make the exterior of your home camera-ready and picture-perfect. Be sure to focus on all sides of your home—front, back, and sides. A virtual tour can be a way to tell a story about your home. Set the right tone starting with the entryway.
- Sweep sidewalks and walkways.
- Tidy up the landscaping.
- Put away gardening equipment and tools.
- Remove garbage can and recycling bins to keep them out of the picture.
- Stow personal gear like bikes, toys, and sports equipment.
- Close the garage door.
- Remove cars from the driveway.
- Make sure outdoor furniture is clean and in good repair. If not, remove it temporarily.
These tips are for the overall interior of your home.
- Wipe down the front door and the door handle.
- Remove visible clutter from the entryway, both outside and inside the front door. Think shoes, boots, mail, jackets, and the like.
- Open all curtains, shades, and blinds to flood rooms with as much natural light as possible.
- Turn on interior lights.
- Vacuum, clean floors, and dust. Dust can sometimes show up on camera, especially in bright light.
- Get counters as clear as possible. Stow small appliances, cookbooks, and cooking gear.
- Remove dish liquid, sponges, dish towels, and other cleaning gear. Park these items temporarily under the sink.
- Wipe down sink, faucet, surfaces, and appliances.
- Make sure the sink area is empty of dishes.
- Push in all kitchen chairs.
Living and Family Room
- Plump up pillows.
- Stow TV remotes.
- Dust the TV screen.
- Remove magazines and newspapers.
- Remove personal items.
- Push in dining room chairs
- Clear the dining room table of clutter and personal items.
- Add a centerpiece such as a bowl of fruit.
- Ask your Barker broker if you should set the table for dinner.
- Tidy sideboards and cabinets.
- Make the beds.
- Put away clothing, shoes, and personal items.
- Stow exercise gear, laundry hampers, and wastebaskets.
- Clear surfaces of personal belongings.
- Shut closet doors.
- Clean fixtures, faucets, and surfaces.
- Close toilet lids.
- Remove and stow toiletries from vanity, tub, and shower.
- Stow laundry hampers.
- Hang clean towels.
Our final piece of advice is to consult your Barker broker for virtual tour tips best suited for your particular property. Our brokers have the expertise and skills to produce virtual tours that would make Martin Scorsese, Marie Kondo, and Martha Stewart proud!