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  • Prepare Your Home for a Virtual Tour

  • With more buyers shopping for homes on the web, photos are a must. There are many things you can do make your home shine on camera.
  • Understand the camera's perspective. The camera's eye is very different from the human eye. It magnifies clutter and poor furniture arrangement. To make a home shine in a virtual tour or video presentation, cater to the lens.
  • Make the home 'Q-tip clean.' Because the camera magnifies grime, each room must be spotless. Don't forget floor coverings and walls; a discolored spot on the rug might be overlooked by prospects during a regular home showing, but that stain becomes a focal point for online viewers.
  • Pack up the clutter. But leave three items of varying heights on each surface. For example, on an end table you can place a lamp (high), a small plant (medium), and a book (low).
  • Snap pictures. This will give you an idea of what the home will look like on camera. Closely examine the photos and list changes that would improve each room's appearance: opening blinds to let in natural light, removing magnets from the refrigerator, or taking down distracting art.
  • Pare down furniture. Identify one or two pieces of furniture that can be removed from each room to make the space appear larger.
  • Rearrange. Spotlight the flow of a space by creating a focal point on the furthest wall from the doorway and arranging the other pieces of furniture to make a triangle shape. The focal point may be a bed in a bedroom or a china cabinet in a dining room.
  • Reaccessorize. Include a healthy plant in every room; the camera loves green. Energize bland decor by placing a bright vase on a mantle or draping an afghan over a couch.
  • Keep the home in shape. You want buyers who liked what they saw online to encounter the same home in person.
Source: Barb Schwarz, www.StagedHomes.com, Concord, Pa.
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