Tips For Selling A Home Virtually

Kyle Hiscock

Kyle Hiscock | Re/Max Realty Group

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Tips For Selling A Home Virtually
Tips For Selling A Home Virtually

Selling your home quickly and for a great price are usually the two most important things to a homeowner!

To do this, your home must be exposed where potential buyers can see it. There are many real estate marketing strategies that you should be expecting from your agent.

Due to COVID-19, the process of buying and selling a home has gotten more complicated.

As a home seller, it may scare you to have too many people coming in and out of the home to look at it.

Buyers don’t always have time or the ability to go check out all the homes they see in person. They have other commitments and buying a home can’t always take priority.

They also worry about going into homes due to COVID-19. Virtual tours also make home buying easier for someone who doesn’t live locally. It can be difficult for them to travel to look at potential homes.

A solution has been the process of showing a home for sale virtually. This allows a seller, or their agent, to promote a home using videos and photos of the home. It allows potential buyers to look at a time that fits their schedule.

Real-time tours can also be scheduled where the potential buyer can interact and ask questions as the tour takes place.

Selling a home virtually can be successfully achieved, if the right tips are followed!

In this article, find out some of the PROs of selling a home virtually, but like with most things there are also drawbacks of selling a home virtually.

In addition to the PROs & CONs of selling a home virtually, you’ll find some of the top tips and also things you must consider.

Finally, we’ll discuss the top tools to consider using if you’ll be selling a home virtually.

PROs of Selling A Home Virtually

Selling a home virtually can be a great fit for some homeowners.  This has been especially true recently due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Homeowners who may have compromised immune systems may not want dozens of potentially buyers walking through their home.

Below are some of the top benefits to selling a home virtually.

Save Yourself Time While Still Exposing Your Home To The Masses

In the past, it wasn’t unheard of for a home seller to be out of their home for extended periods of time when first listing their home for sale. 

This was due to the number of showing requests being made by prospective home buyers and also an indication of a sellers real estate market.

One nice benefit to selling a home virtually is it can save a home seller a substantial amount of time but still expose their home to a large number of potential buyers.  This can reduce the amount of time a home seller is being forced out of their home during the home sale process.

Virtual Home Tours Show More

Properly marketing a home when selling it is critical to home sale success.  There are certain things that home sellers should expect from their listing agent

An obvious thing to expect, yet not always practiced, is high quality photographs of their home.  While this should be the bare minimum expectation that home sellers should have, while selling a home virtually, you should expect more!

Virtual home tours are becoming more and more popular, especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  A nice benefit to virtual home tours is they allow prospective buyers to see more in the home. 

Many virtual home tours allow buyers to walk through a home, room by room, and see areas of the home that photographs typically do not showcase.

Reduced Contact

Finally, another top benefit to selling a home virtually is that it reduces the amount of contact and people in your home.

When the COVID-19 Pandemic began, there was speculation whether or not buyers would be willing to purchase homes without being able to physically walk through them.  While not every buyer is willing to purchase a home sight unseen, the majority have proven they are!

CONs of Selling A Home Virtually

While selling a home virtually certainly has it’s fair share of benefits, there are definitely some drawbacks to it.

Below we discuss many of the CONs of selling a home virtually.

Virtual Home Tours Are NOT The Same As In Person Tours | Tips For Selling A Home Virtually
Virtual Home Tours Are NOT The Same As In Person Tours | Tips For Selling A Home Virtually

Loss of Potential Buyers

As mentioned above, one of the benefits to selling a home virtually is reduced contact.  However, with reduced contact, a drawback of selling a home virtually is the loss of potential buyers.

The majority of home buyers showed that they were willing to purchase a home virtually, however, it’s not going to be for everyone.  This can potentially mean less demand for a property, which typically means a lower sale price.

Location Is Difficult To Picture Virtually

One of the most important things home buyers look for when purchasing a home is the location of the home.

There are certainly many tools available to home buyers that allow a buyer to see the properties location from satellite images, but there is no substitution for being physically at a property to see the location.

One way to combat this potential drawback of selling a home virtually is to allow prospective buyers to visit your property and allow access to the exterior of your home. 

This can make a huge difference for buyers if they can at the very least, walk your property and see how the surroundings are.

Nothing Can Replace In Person Showings

Let’s face it, nothing can replace in person showings, which is another drawback of selling a home virtually.

If you’ve ever shopped for a home, it’s likely you walked into a home to be greeted by a foul odor, such as smoke or pet odor.

This is only one example why nothing can ever replace in person showings.  It’s impossible to see, and smell, all the things that you can see with an in person tour of a property. 

Prepare Your Home For The Market

While you may be in a hurry to get your home on the market, take your time preparing your home for the market. You don’t want to lose the interest of potential buyers due to rushing.

Carefully inspect your home inside and out. Take care of anything that needs your attention. Fix broken items and re-paint others if it will make the home more appealing.

When it comes to home sale preparation one of the most essential aspects so many real estate agents talk about is de-cluttering. If you are the kind of person who would best be described as a “pack rat”, your home is no where near being ready for the market. Buyer’s today lack vision.

They want to be able to see all the rooms in your house unfettered by a ton of stuff. It can be very challenging for some buyers to picture their own things in your home when there is too much furniture, nick-knacks, and other personal possession that crowd a room.

One of the best pieces advice when you have far too many things in your home is too rent a storage unit. Renting self-storage has become a big business and with good reason. When you are selling a home getting storage space provides the opportunity to make your home perfectly staged to sell.

There are numerous self-storage companies worth checking out. One of the best is U-Haul. One of the many benefits of going with U-Haul is they cover two aspects of your move- moving and storage. If you are the kind of person who likes to do things yourself you can rent a truck from them, while at the same time get storage space. U-Haul rentals provide the convenience of tackling both for you. Maximum Real Estate Exposure has an excellent U-Haul pricing guide worth checking out. They not only provide how much it is to rent a truck but also a breakdown of renting storage space as well.

If you are looking for a U-Haul in your area, I would recommend doing a Google search for something like U-Haul near me. That should give you the locations of the closest U-Haul companies for you.

When you live in a home, it gets easy to overlook issues. Take the time to clean windows and baseboards before you share your home. It can be useful to have someone else look at the home inside and out for you.

A fresh pair of eyes may identify things to take care of that you overlooked. The home selling process will be easier when your home looks amazing inside and out!

Choose the Right Real Estate Agent

While you certainly can choose to try to sell your home on your own, it’s not the easiest task!  It is tough to do all the work yourself. The process is time-consuming and the paperwork can be overwhelming.

It is recommended to work with a real estate agent as they know how to best promote a home. They also know the paperwork process inside and out.

Typically, you won’t pay an agent until the home sells. They will get a percentage of the selling price. Make sure you know the cost and you factor it into your selling price. This would allow the cost of their help to be fully covered by the profits you earn when you sell the home.

A top agent can help you to prepare your home for professional photographs so it gives the best overall impression in pictures, or videos, taken. You want potential buyers to be captivated by what they see!

Often, the real estate agent will take care of the videos and the photos for you. They have quality equipment to get this done or know what professionals can accomplish this, if they cannot. They use the right lighting and they have editing tools to help them make a professional display of information regarding your home.

If you choose to sell your home on your own, which is typically not advised, one of the most common reasons for sale by owners fail, is because they don’t have quality videos and photos.

Make sure you put plenty of effort into the videos and pictures taken if you decide to attempt to sell your own home!

Highlight Your Entire Home

One of the best real estate tips for selling a home virtually is to include everything. When a potential buyer is interested, they will look at all of the videos and photos. If they determine early on the place isn’t a good match for them, they will move on to other homes.

Show them the exterior from several angles. Include the patio areas, the yard, and the garden if you have one. Let them see what the curb appeal is all about there!

For the videos, you can create a long one that includes everything in it. You can also break it down into shorter segments. The goal is to have enough video and photo coverage of every aspect of the home. This includes storage space such as closets and cabinets.

Many homeowners focus on bathrooms and kitchens so give those areas additional dedication as you record the information to share.

Don’t forget to include the garage or a storage shed at the home. Those are often forgotten when virtual home selling takes place. The more information viewers have to look at the better idea they can get of the layout of the home. If they love what they see, they are going to reach out to schedule a time to do a virtual tour if a face to face one isn’t an option.

Real-Time Virtual Showing

Utilize Real-Time Virtual Showings | Tips For Selling A Home Virtually
Utilize Real-Time Virtual Showings | Tips For Selling A Home Virtually

Due to technology such as Zoom, it is possible to schedule a real-time virtual showing of your home. All parties need to agree upon a time to do this and you will walk through your home while they watch it on the video. They can ask questions, they can ask you to zoom in on certain areas in a given room, and they ask you to go back to a certain area more than once.

As a seller, you need to be patient with such requests. It is a huge decision to buy any home, and even harder when you aren’t walking through it in person. This virtual showing helps to bring that concept as close to the real thing as possible.

If you don’t feel comfortable completing the real-time virtual showing on your own, you can ask your real estate agent to do it for you.

Some of the questions potential buyers may have are related to sounds or even smells in the home. For example, they may ask you how noisy the neighborhood is due to traffic or other people’s activities. They may inquire about anyone smoking in the home because that can affect the smell of it. These are concepts they miss out on with a virtual tour versus one in person. The fact that they ask such questions shows they are very interested in your home!

Don’t get discouraged if you have several real-time virtual showings but no offers. It takes time for buyers to decide on the home they want. There may not be an issue with your home, but it just isn’t what they are after.

Stay positive with the process but don’t sound desperate in your live videos. If they ask you why you wish to sell the home, you can share as much or as little as you wish with them.

If you choose to let your real estate agent handle all of this, make sure you are out of the home before the live event begins. Give them ample time to complete the virtual showing. Some potential buyers will take longer than others. You don’t want to return home in the middle of it all and interrupt the flow of what was taking place.

Properly prepare the home for a virtual showing is vital. Make sure personal items are put away and pets are secured. Turn lights on in the home so as the tour takes place nothing is dark if the tour is at night. If it is during the day, rely on natural lighting where you can. Open up curtains to let the sunlight in through large windows.

The goal is to present the home in the best possible way.

Obtain Feedback & Hopefully Offers

A motivated real estate agent is going to touch base with potential buyers too. They may follow up with them in the days after a virtual tour.

The input they give may help to make the process better for the next virtual tour. It is also possible they are on the fence, but the outreach from the agent encourages them to put an offer on the home.

It may surprise you to discover some homebuyers are putting out a contract before they even see the home in person! They may not want someone else to get an offer in before them. They may not be able to see the home for a bit but they are seriously interested in it.

Such contracts often come with stipulations such as them seeing the home in person and the home passing an inspection. A qualified real estate agent can help you with all of these concepts of the home selling process.

Top Virtual Home Selling Tools

If you are selling your home and have decided that selling it virtually is the way you’d like to go, it’s critical that you and/or your Realtor understands the different tools needed and used to sell a home virtually.

Below are some of the most popular virtual home selling tools!

Zoom

It’s inevitable that during the COVID-19 Pandemic, you heard of Zoom.  Whether it was used as a tool to have a “family gathering” or a tool you or someone you know used for a work meeting, it’s definitely one of the top virtual home selling tools.

Zoom allows for a home seller or listing agent to give a live tour of their home while prospective home buyers and their agents are watching.

While taking a tour of the home, buyers and their agents can ask questions and make requests if they’d like to see specific things within a home. 

One of the nice features of Zoom is the “calls” are able to be recorded so if a prospective buyer cannot make a live tour, they can review the previously recorded tours.

FaceTime

Even prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, a tool that many real estate professionals and their clients were utilizing was FaceTime.  In many cases, this was being used by prospective home buyers if they were unable to physically be in the area but were interested in a home.

FaceTime allows people with Apple Products, such as iPhones, iPads, and Macs, to video chat with one another.  It’s very similar to Zoom, however, does not have the option to write questions in a chat.

One of the reasons why FaceTime is one of the top virtual home selling tools is because it is very easy to use, in fact, quite easier than Zoom for most.

Like Zoom, it allows a home seller or their Realtor to walk prospective buyers through a property to get a look at the home closely!

Matterport 3D Tours

One of the fastest growing virtual home sale tools are Matterport 3D Tours.  Matterport gives a home an interactive “doll house” feeling.

Prospective buyers can walk through a home by simply clicking room to room and each frame allows a 360-degree view.

Final Thoughts

These tips for selling a home virtually can help you get yours sold in less time. It can help you get offers coming in to review.  

If you’re going to be selling a home virtually, ensure the real estate agent you hire has experience selling homes virtually and also knows how to use the above virtual home selling tools!

Obtaining the best price for your home and doing what you can to promote it during these changing times is important!  Virtual home selling isn’t impossible, and it can help you connect with potential buyers while lowering the risk of COVID-19 exposure.


About the author: The above article on “Tips For Selling A Home Virtually” was written by Kyle Hiscocka Rochester NY Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Realty Group.

Since being launched in 2013, Kyle has published more than 150 quality, in-depth, and unique real estate related articles on the Rochester Real Estate Blog pertaining to topics varying from home selling to mortgages and everything in between!  In addition to quality real estate related content, there are also many quality articles pertaining to the Greater Rochester NY area.

The Rochester Real Estate Blog has been recognized by many reputable websites as one of the best real estate blogs to visit and follow!  In addition to being recognized as one of the best real estate blogs, Kyle has been recognized as one of the top Realtors on social media by several organizations and websites.


About Rochester’s Real Estate Blog: Rochester’s Real Estate Blog is owned and operated by Kyle Hiscock of the Hiscock Sold Team at RE/MAX Realty Group.  With over 40 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.

We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.

© 2020, Kyle Hiscock. All rights reserved.

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