Home Owner Tips

Farm Friday: Staging Your House For a Virtual Tour

By Lauren Vaccaro Last Updated October 12, 2022 3 min read

Welcome to another Farm Friday!

As a home buyer browses through several listings online, a seller needs a way to catch their attention. A virtual home tour may do the trick. A virtual tour is an immersive experience and offers a more in-depth, realistic look into a house.

We cannot overstate the importance of eye-catching visuals when trying to sell. Consider investing in a virtual tour to promote your home online. Below are a few tips to prepare your house for a virtual tour photo shoot. 

A tidy backdrop

If a home is cluttered in person, imagine how it looks through a camera lens. When it comes to photos and videos, the best backdrop is a clean, tidy one. Real estate and home design professionals agree that the first step to successful staging is a thorough clean.

Start by decluttering to help your home feel open and bright. Decluttering allows people to see the “bones” of a house, not the stuff that fills it. Focus on the main level first, as living rooms and kitchens are the most important spaces to buyers. Look for typical sources of clutter like personal items, unnecessary furniture, children’s toys, and anything on the countertops.

Removing items that make your house feel like home can be strange, but the space itself is what potential buyers need to see most. 

Time to clean

After decluttering, make time for a deep clean. Create a cleaning list, and prioritize areas that potential buyers spend time viewing like bathrooms, the kitchen, the foyer, and other high-traffic areas. 

Everyday dirt isn’t visible in real estate images, but you still want the house to shine. It’s essential to have the home ready for showings soon after your listing is live. Some things that stand out on camera include fresh vacuum lines, clean mirrors, and a sparkling shower – all of which elevate your virtual tour for even the pickiest buyers.

Set the scene

Decorating is one of the most important aspects of staging a home for a virtual tour. Once you remove the clutter, the task of decorating is easy.

While decorating your home shows your unique style, the real goal of decorating a home on the market is to show off the space and features. 

Remember, a staged home is not necessarily a practical home.

Less is more

Whether you hire a professional stager or tackle the space yourself, start by paring down furniture and simplifying each room.

Next, add thoughtful, neutral decor. By avoiding bold choices, you appeal to a larger pool of prospective buyers. 

Think about the best parts of your home, and use them as focal points—for example, a fireplace, custom built-ins, a remodeled shower, or a large window. Use and arrange your furniture and decor to highlight those focal points.

Light it up

How often have you heard buyers say they are looking for “great natural light”? Lighting is important in a home and arguably even more critical when capturing it through photos and videos.

Make sure your house is well-lit for the camera by checking that artificial lights are working and that no bulbs are burnt out. All light bulbs should be consistent in tone, either warm or cool, especially if they are in the same room. Replace bulbs as necessary, and turn on all lights before the virtual tour.

Your photographer will likely adjust the blinds and curtains in each room to set the right amount of natural light. In general, the lighter, the better. If your house has dark curtains, replacing them with sheer, light-filtering ones is a great idea.

Do a walkthrough

Finally, take time to do a final walkthrough. It may help to walk through once with your real estate agent and perhaps even a few friends to provide feedback on your home.

Remember that popular virtual tours, like Matterport, use a tripod to capture 360-degree views. When you go through the house, keep in mind that the ideal tripod spots allow for the camera to rotate fully.

When it comes to finishing touches, save the fresh flowers and scented candles for your open house. They won’t have the same impact on camera as in person.

Virtual tours can elevate your home listing and capture the attention of busy online buyers. Putting in the work to stage your home before a virtual tour helps you achieve the goal of selling your home fast and for the most money possible.