Virtual showings are not a new phenomenon: Before this spring, real estate agents used this method to show off houses for out-of-town clients, to increase interest in an online posting and more. However, whereas virtual showings were once a nice-to-have option, they are now basically essential for homebuyers and sellers in the age of COVID-19.
In one week alone at the end of March, real estate brokerage firm Redfin reported a nearly 500% increase in the demand for agent-led home showings. Meanwhile, Zillow reported that homes with 3D tours available were saved by 50% more users and sold an average of 10% faster than homes without 3D tours.
With more houses getting the “screen-time treatment” for the foreseeable future, here’s how to make your listing stand out online.
Take staging even more seriously:
With more buyers depending on pictures, videos and 3D tours to make their decisions—or at least help determine which houses are top contenders—clutter can make or break the experience. Not only do buyers like to picture themselves in the home, but packing up pictures and knick knacks can help the space feel more spacious.
Do a video tour test run:
Beyond just looking at how well rooms will photograph, consider enlisting a friend to give you feedback as you navigate from room to room. Make sure there is nothing underfoot to trip over, the rooms are well-lit and there is a natural route to follow from room to room.
Think about virtual staging:
Research shows that staged homes sell faster, but that can be pricey if the home is currently vacant and furniture-free. With more people looking online at listings, it’s worth considering a virtual staging service, which can effectively place digital furnishings and more around the house to demonstrate how the space can be used.
Ask your agent about 3D tours:
With 3D tours, homebuyers can view every corner of a house—which means you can’t hide things away in corners and hope they go unnoticed. However, as the Zillow research shows, this option tends to be advantageous, so it’s worth asking your real estate agent to help you line up.