Let’s face it, there is no real match for visiting a property in person, however the last nine months have taught us that everyone has to be flexible and adaptable when it comes to the decision making process.
Although remote viewings – whether live from the property, a pre-recorded video, a 360˚ tour or a virtual tour – have been on the periphery of the property market for some time, they have become mainstream staples during the pandemic.
In fact, these types of remote viewings have been so successful that there is speculation they will give rise to more ‘sight unseen’ property transactions in the future – where people commit to purchasing or renting without seeing the property firsthand in the flesh.
For now, remote viewings are a good way for buyers and tenants to make a shortlist of properties from the comfort of their sofa, and we urge movers to only request in-person visits for properties they think they’ll make a genuine offer on.
For sellers and landlords, remote viewings look set to feature for some time to come – probably even beyond the pandemic. In fact, research in 2020 found more than 33% of Brits expected virtual viewings to become the norm when moving home, while one in five thought a virtual viewing gave you all the information needed to make decisions.
With this in mind, ensuring your property looks its best on all types of camera is vital, especially as the technology behind many remote viewings allows properties to be scrutinised more closely. The effort will pay off, as your preparation for a video recording or virtual tour will also improve the results of traditional photographs.
Thankfully, many of the principles that apply to in-person viewing preparations also apply to their remote counterparts – fresh flowers, clutter-free rooms and all maintenance jobs completed – but there are other aspects that are unique. Here’s our advice specific to remote viewings:-
- Doors and windows matter more: the aim is to create a good flow around your home so open all internal doors before anything is caught on camera. Not only will this help lighten dark corners, it will provide a smooth path around your property for the person capturing or hosting the tour. When it comes to windows, curtains and blinds must be open, and you may consider removing any nets or voile if it’s an overcast day.
- Those neglected areas will need work: while a photographer will use their framing techniques and editing to crop out – or even remove – junk, filming is much less forgiving. Areas that need attention include under beds, on top of wardrobes and anything hanging on the back of doors, as the ability to swivel 360˚ and tilt up and down in some remote viewings can catch areas that are usually out of sight.
- Hello hallways & landings: flick through past property details and unless they are a thing of real beauty, hallways and landings are rarely photographed. Especially in the case of live video viewings, your through and communal areas may now make it onto the small screen, so ensure you tidy up coats, shoes, toys and laundry.
- Remember who the director is: in the case of live video tours and immersive virtual tours, the viewer is very much in control. They have the ability to zoom right in to see tiny details. They can ask to visit every nook and cranny and in the case of a live situation, they can ask the agent to open cupboards and drawers. Declutter, clean and tidy with this in mind.
- Sound travels: so you won’t be able to win movers over with the smell of freshly brewed coffee and baked bread but the sounds of your home life may transmit. Ensure dishwashers, tumble dryers and washing machines are switched off, turn the television to mute and do your best when it comes to kids and pets (we know it may be difficult!). A little soft background music may help but save the heavy metal for earphones.
If you have your heart set on a property and are serious about making an offer, we can organise a physical viewing for you, where it is safe to do so. Please use all the marketing assets available to you to make your decision, and that includes talking to us about our own experience of the property. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
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