Preparing for a Virtual Tour

On a recent trip to Florida, we had dinner on the beach during a beautiful sunset. The sky looked like it was on fire as gorgeous shades of red and orange lit the horizon. Wanting to capture the moment, we asked a friend to take our picture. In the picture, you can see the sunset if you look hard enough but unfortunately, the first and potentially only thing you see is my pretty but very distracting pink and orange paisley shirt.

Preparing for a virtual tour is just like preparing for any apartment photography shoot…it’s vitally important that nothing distracts the viewer from the big picture. Virtual tours allow prospective buyers, renters or customers to step into your venue and literally take a look around. After you live in a space for a while, you often don’t see your own clutter or distractions. Problem is that someone who sees it for the first time often has a tough time seeing anything BUT the clutter and distractions.

We recently shot some  virtual tours where the homeowners had a large carousel horse. While it was beautiful and unique in person, in the 360º photographs it became a distraction from what was otherwise an elegant and classy living room.

We understand you usually have to live in your home while it is for sale but keep in mine, once your house is on the market, you must view it as a commodity and not as “your” home. Take a look around your house and see what prospective buyers may see. Go to open houses in your neighborhood and see what stands out to you.

Some of the things that can be visual stumbling blocks include:

Personal photographs
Office clutter
Kitchen counter catch-alls
Large or unique decorative pieces
Bookshelf or built-in displays
Refrigerator magnets and art
Distinct wall colors and accent walls

Remember that the objective is to showcase your home…not your stuff. If necessary, ask a friend to come over and objectively walk through your house. Chances are they will see things that you miss.