Six Tips for a Successful Virtual Open House

These are unprecedented times for all sectors of the economy and no less so for real estate.  Some will ask how can you conduct an “Open House” when the government has ordered for all to remain at home?  Well, even under the current Stay-At-Home circumstances, sellers and their real estate agents are hard at work showing off properties and spaces virtually via on-line platforms such as Zoom, Skype and FaceTime.  

Since it remains true that there are no second chances when it comes to first impressions, your virtual open house will provide the first impression of your property for the majority of potential buyers.  Under any circumstance, a good open house can set the tone for your whole experience as a seller, and if it goes well it can really give you the upper hand in future negotiations. That’s why it’s so important to get it right! 

Obviously, for now you can avoid having your nerves wracked by lots of people exploring your property in person all at once; nonetheless, read on to discover our tips for making the virtual open house process a great success:

  1. Clean and declutter.

Nothing turns away a curious buyer like a mess.  Now more than ever “clear sight lines” and “wide angles” and “open spaces” will translate exceptionally well to video.  Potential buyers need to be able to imagine themselves in your home and no one likes imagining themselves surrounded by grime or cluttered counters or even piles of laundry. You might think, “But I’m in the process of packing to move, so there’s no way to get it clean,” but frankly there can be no excuses here. Hire professional cleaners if it comes to that. Sparkling clean windows and distraction free surfaces will go a long way.

  1. If the home is empty, “insert” furniture and accessories to stage it.

Again, people need to be able to picture themselves living in the space and it is easier for them to do that with furniture. You can do this the tried and true old-fashioned way by renting furniture however, if you are feeling extra adventurous ask your real estate agent about computer-generated furniture.  Many tech savvy agents and brokerages can advise about programs that insert virtual furniture into your pristinely clean and empty spaces.  

  1. Add a fresh coat of paint.

A fresh coat of paint makes it feel like a lot of effort has gone into the home — look ma, I didn’t just post a “for sale” sign in the front yard! The paint is especially important if any of your walls have what in polite company we could call “eccentric” colors (in other circles we’d argue that color belongs on City Hall’s walls in Crazy-town).  But I digress; bottom-line? Buyers much prefer neutrals.  

  1. Use Additional Lighting

In addition to natural lighting, you should also consider the use of artificial lighting.  In order to avoid dark spaces and corners, the lighting should be uniform throughout each room. An experienced real estate agent can help with the placement of stage lighting and ensure that all lights and lamps are used to maximum effect.

  1. Avoid unnatural angles

No one is claiming that virtual (at least at this point) can sufficiently replace the experience of “real time.”  Nonetheless, your virtual real estate tour should approximate the human experience as much as possible. So, select “camera angles” from the viewpoint of where a buyer would first enter and then stop to look around the room.  Avoid unnatural or way too artistic vantage points. Remember, this is a virtual tour for the masses and not your senior submission to NYU’s film school.

  1. Promote your open house.

A great virtual open house is wasted if no one knows about it. Make sure you post on Craigslist, Facebook, LinkedIN, Nextdoor, and any and all other listing services or real estate portals in your area. Your real estate agent or attorney can help you determine what’s appropriate.

When buying or selling real estate, it is absolutely essential to have a real estate law attorney by your side throughout the process. At Auricchio Law Offices, we are committed to protecting our clients in real estate and beyond. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to help you.

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Auricchio Law Offices

Auricchio Law Offices in Chicago provides a complete range of real estate services. We facilitate residential and commercial real estate transactions, advise and represent condominium associations, and represent property owners in real estate litigation. Whatever your real estate issue, we will work diligently to achieve your goals in a timely and efficient manner.

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