Making a good first impression online is more crucial than ever. Here's how to succeed.
It used to be crucial to stage your house so that it looks its best during open houses and showings. However, COVID encouraged us to go online and increased the number of people who felt at ease making a purchase after viewing a home online but before visiting it in person. Now, everything depends on how your home appears in still images and virtual tours on a screen.
Screen appeal is essentially the new curb appeal.
The data provides the narrative. Open houses and personal visits are so 2019. In a Zillow survey conducted last year, nearly 60% of millennials indicated they would feel at least somewhat secure placing an offer on a house after taking just a 3D virtual tour. Just 23% of baby boomers said they would be at least somewhat confident in making an offer on a house they had only seen online, which gives you an indication of how shockingly low that percentage is.
The largest group of house buyers, millennials are the first generation of internet natives. For years to come, housing trends and demand will be driven by their comfort with technology.
That means it's important to get your house ready for its close-up on screen. Here's how to enhance the internet presence of your house listing.
Declutter, depersonalize and clean
In the virtual world, some of the previous guidelines for open houses still hold true. Organizing clutter enhances screen appeal. Photos will show a room as being more open and inviting when there are less stuff in it. In order to assist prospective buyers perceive your home's qualities and see themselves living there, depersonalizing—removing belongings like family portraits, keepsakes, and any other personal objects that indicate “This is my house”—is a good idea. Your house will appear spotless in pictures and videos. By letting in more natural light, your rooms will appear bigger, cozier, and more welcome. Open your shades and blinds. Replace all of the light bulbs to make your space appear spacious and bright.
Optimize your layout for the camera
Take into account how your home appears on camera and how your furniture is arranged. Even while you may adore your furniture placement, it may not give the impression that your rooms are spacious when viewed on a screen. Check whether the present layout photographs well by taking some test pictures. Do a video chat walkthrough with a friend to see if there is a clear path between furniture items if you intend to create a recorded or live video tour. While performing a live performance, you want to avoid tripping over an ottoman.
Hire a pro photographer
When you're selling your largest investment, cell phone pictures won't do. Engage a photographer who specializes in photographing homes for MLS and 3D virtual tours. They are adept at framing and lighting spaces to their greatest advantage. See our advice on how to get a photographer to take stunning images of your house for real estate listings. In certain markets, you can either use our directory to find a photographer to hire or ask your agent for a referral. The listing images and any virtual tours will likely be organized by your agent in conjunction with the buyers' agents.
Consider virtual staging
Software is used for virtual staging to add furnishings to your room digitally. Without ever moving or hiring actual furniture, it can make a house appear to be furnished. Online services that virtually arrange your home with the help of interior designers are available, and there are also apps that enable you DIY your own digital décor for your listing images, kind of like The Sims for adults. Virtual staging makes your house listing stand out and is a quick way to get vacant homes or homes with outdated furnishings ready to market.
Add a 3D virtual tour
A virtual tour is a requirement and could really increase the number of views and saves on your listing. On average, listings featuring a Zillow 3D Home® tour received 43% more views on Zillow and were saved by buyers 55% more often than ones without, according to data gathered between November 2021 and January 2022. And it makes sense why; a virtual tour gives the impression that you are physically going around the interior of a home. It provides a prospective buyer with a more thorough understanding of how the house appears and feels than still images can. Try out the free Zillow 3D Home app for a simple way to use your phone to make a virtual tour that you can share on Zillow, social media, and more.
Write a gripping listing description
Although a picture is worth a thousand words, that is not enough. You may increase the appeal of your home in the description that goes with your listing. Write a creative description of what readers can't see in the pictures or provide more detail for what they can see. Tell them about your home's unique amenities, such as a view of the downtown skyline, slate floors, or a steam shower. Mention brands (plus if they are high-end kitchen appliances!). Use a few of our shrewd suggestions to make your house unaffordable to buyers.
Your home looks great — now share it
Once you've maximized your home's screen appeal and made your listing stand out, show it off online to attract interest in addition to that which your realtor is already generating. Spread the word about your listing among your network by posting it on social media, including Nextdoor, Instagram, and TikTok. Make a claim for your house on Zillow and fill out the form so that you may get a more precise estimate of its value. Additionally, you'll have access to data on regional market trends and extra tools to aid in setting your home's price.