Virtual Viewings: How to make the most of the opportunity

With social distancing now the norm, open houses have been replaced with virtual viewings.  Virtual viewings are a great first step in helping buyers evaluate a property. 

They are a great opportunity for both the buyer and the seller.  They give the seller the chance to showcase their home and the buyer can narrow the search to houses to really want get “hands on with”.

In order to have make the best of a virtual viewing, there are some tasks that should be completed by the seller beforehand.

The most obvious task is cleaning.  The house should be spotless.  If you work full time and don’t have the time to get the house cleaned, maybe think about hiring a cleaning service.  The money spent is well worth it if you are able to sell quickly.  It might be hard to keep it clean if you are still living there, but remember, this is for an event so your home presentation must be impeccable.

Clutter is a major turnoff to potential buyers.  It just isn’t comforting to see piles of clutter everywhere.  Keep small appliances stored instead of out on the countertops.  You want people to envision their belongings in the house.  If there is no reason for something to be displayed, get rid of it.

If you can, remove non-essential furniture to make the rooms appear larger.  Spacious rooms are more appealing to the camera.  Keep your boxes of junk stored out of sight.  It is a good idea to start figuring out what you need and what you can live without.  It might also be a good idea to have a garage sale before you put the house on the market.

Don’t ignore the outside of the house either.  The outside presentation has a major impact on the buyer.  Don’t let garden hoses or other tools pile up outside.  Pick them up and store them elsewhere.  Make the effort to beautify the front entry.  Keep the flower beds neat and free from weeds.

Look at the walls and try to put yourself in the buyers’ shoes.  How would you look at the walls in someone else’s house?  Is the paint chipping?  It would be well worth your time to give the walls a touch of paint.  If you have a garden, maybe bring in some fresh flowers and put them in attractive vases.

Lucky, as buyers are not appearing in person at this stage, you won’t have to break out the old “baking bread” trick but candles add a nice touch along with background music to facilitate those that may have audio enabled.  Classical or jazz music are both good choices.  First impressions go a long way.

One of the major plusses of virtual viewings is flexibility.  Even in the days of social distancing, last minute requests for viewings are very common but agents normally request 24 hours notice before a showing.  Virtual viewings help in accommodating the hectic schedules of a potential buyer will make you and your home look that much better.

The goal of the virtual viewing is to progress qualified buyers into arranging an in-person visit.  Organising them well means less disturbance to your life, less people coming to your home and a smoother sale.