5 Tips on How to Stage a Home for Virtual Tours

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Virtual tours have long been used to make home listings more accessible to potential buyers. REALTORS® often rely on virtual showings for providing a transparent, all-access look at properties of interest to clients near and far. Plus, after nearly two years of pivoting under COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, virtual tours are an excellent asset for enhancing a home’s marketability to a broader audience of prospective buyers. 

But before you rush behind the camera to film, don’t forget the importance of staging your home first! At the Garman Group, we’re passionate about helping our clients highlight the assets of their space to cultivate the best experience possible. That’s why we’ve written frequently about the crucial value of staging your home.

While much of our previous advice still applies here, there may be some preparations specific to staging for virtual tours that you haven’t considered. Check out the following five tips for virtually showcasing the best your home has to offer the market. 

Tip #1: Showcase both the interior & exterior of your home

As much as possible, virtual tours should embody the experience of an in-person open house or viewing. That means you must decorate and incorporate the outdoor features of your home in addition to the interior assets. 

Think about it this way: Would you want to buy a home solely based on what it looks like indoors? Of course not! To stay competitive, you need to give possible buyers what they crave: practical access to the ins and outs of their potential dream home! 

Tip #2: Clean, declutter, & depersonalize 

Again, online viewings should replicate the key features of a traditional showing — so don’t skip the necessary cleaning process beforehand. Instead, take this as an opportunity to deep clean your home while simultaneously eliminating clutter and removing personalized elements. 

Have kids? Store their toys out of sight. Pets? Same deal — nix their stuff. Photobombing pets and babies may be an inevitable yet cute interruption for your video calls at work, but your online showings should aim to be more neutral. Tidy, neutral spaces allow buyers to imagine their own lives in the home instead of yours. 

Tip #3: Prioritize good lighting 

Two words: natural lighting! It’s all about natural lighting, so don’t shy away from throwing open your blinds and letting the sun peek through every window for a virtual tour. You don’t need cinematic lights to capture your home well on screen, especially when sunlight is available. However, if your home is a bit darker, you may wish to enhance the lighting situation in person or get creative with your edits. 

Tip #4: Be open & honest about your space

Although you can take advantage of editing software to enhance the look of your property footage for online showings, resist the temptation to over-sell the space inaccurately. Creative license only gets you so far! 

Ultimately, you want to provide an authentic view of what makes your home so unique. That way, the right buyers will be thrilled to arrive at their new abode that looks just like it did online, rather than be disappointed when reality doesn’t match the unrealistic expectations from the video. 

Tip #5: Consider online security

It’s easy to assume that virtual tours are much safer than having buyers visit your house in person — but online viewings aren’t without their risks. Consider this another reason why removing personal assets from view is a solid practice for staging your home before a virtual showing. 

Protect your open house from becoming a catalogue of high-value items like jewellery, electronics, or personal identifying information by excluding them from your virtual tours just like you would during an in-person open house. 

So there you have it — five tips for staging a home ahead of a virtual tour! Following these tips in consultation with an experienced local REALTOR® can help your property stand out on the market to garner the highest bid from potential buyers.

Want to a hand preparing your house for virtual showings? Get in touch with us at the Garman Group, and we’ll be happy to help!