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A Superior Virtual Tour Answers These Questions

When touring a home, buyers note weeds in the lawn, the squeakiness of front doors and whether a granite-like countertop is really Formica. Virtual tours should too.

NEW YORK – As agents conduct live virtual showings, they should be prepared to provide close-up views of things buyers would likely notice during an in-person showing but easily miss in a virtual tour.

Agents should show the condition of lawns, hardscape, trees and shrubs, as well as neighboring homes and features.

The agent should consider unlocking the front door and opening all interior doors and the garage so buyers can assess how well these features look and work.

Agents should also remember that buyers will hear every ambient noise during a virtual tour, and that they might be more distracting online than they are in person – a detail that should be factored in during camera use and voiceover comments.

Clients should be given a floor plan of the property, possibly before the tour, so they know how one room’s location relates to another.

It’s also important for agents to highlight the details and sometimes get the camera close to objects because Formica might look like granite and quartz in listing photos. In fact, agents should offer close-up views of any item that might cause problems down the road, such as a furnace or a/c unit, the water heater, electrical panel and other systems, especially if a future inspection suggests they need to be replaced.

The spatial dimensions of a home can also be harder to understand virtually than in person. Agents can give buyers a better perspective on spatial dimensions by using a measuring tape or by standing next to features such as a fireplace. Any “view” described in the MLS listing should be highlighted as well.

Scent is a judgment call, which makes previewing and pre-screening advisable. However, it’s better for an agent to tell buyers about notable scents during a virtual tour so it doesn’t come as a surprise later.

Source: Inman (06/08/20) Solari, Nicole

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