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Hosting a Flat Fee MLS Virtual Showing / Open House

Social distancing is affecting businesses all across the country in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus. Hosting open houses and walk-throughs have come to a halt. However, with the help of technology, we can provide a similar experience with virtual open houses.

It’s important that the potential homebuyers are shown a property in its entirety, so although they can’t be there in person, they feel like they’re walking alongside you through the home.


 Meet.Google.com is another way in addition to Zoom to host a Virtual Open House.

Do a few test runs to work out the kinks.

Just as in person we can create a signup sheet for potential Buyers and Buyers Agents to provide Proof of Funds and Pre-Qual/Pre-Approval in order to be invited to the Flat Fee MLS Virtual Open House. Once they submit we can send them the Meeting Link. or we can open to all.

The Buyers Agent Will Usually Take Charge and Host the meeting.
Once you have a plan ready for the open house and your agent confirms the time and date with potential homebuyers, you can start your tour. During the walk-through, mute yourself and let your agent do the talking. Remember, this is a process usually conducted with you, your family and your pets out of the home. Minimize any distractions on your end and let the agent lead this tour. You want to provide the buyers with a genuine open house experience—so be sure to trust your agent through this process.

Allow Live Q&A With Potential Buyers at the End
If the potential buyers have questions, talk with your agent about a live Q&A session at the end of the tour. Again, let your agent take control when it comes to the questions. Unless you’ve previously discussed your involvement in this part of the process, you want to allow your agent to properly do their job as if it was in person. If questions come up regarding a specific space, be ready to showcase that area of the home. Remember to remove your personal feelings when a buyer asks a question, no matter how uncomfortable it may make you.

Tips For Sellers to prepare for your flat fee mls Virtual Open House.

Tip #1 – Curb Appeal
Make sure the listing has great curb appeal. When people join the meeting to the Flat Fee MLS Virtual Open House, you want to make sure they want to go inside..because they like what they see on the outside.

Tip #2 – Plenty of Light
Make sure the shades are open and the lights are on, including hallway and entryway lights. Houses show their best when the rooms have plenty of light. When potential buyers "walk" through your house they want to see that it’s light and airy. They don’t want to see dingy darkness that seems depressing.

Tip #3 – Clean  Tidy Up Your Home
Make sure house is clean from floor to ceiling. Buyers want to see a clean house; they don’t want to see dust, crumbs on the counter, dirty dishes in the sink or dishes in the dishwasher, even if they’re clean. Vacuum the carpet, sweep other floor surfaces, make them sparkle. Wipe away any cobwebs, both inside and out. Don’t forget to the clean every window, too, so the light can shine in. The cleaner your house (on the inside AND outside), the better it’s going to look. 
 
Just as you would for a live open house, be sure your home is clean and clutter free. If you are working from home, be sure to tidy up your desk or work station. Remove any personal items, such as family pictures or eclectic artwork that may skew a buyer’s perception. Stage each room as best as you can, with guidance from your agent. If you have children who are home from school or you have a pet, ask another family member to keep them occupied or keep them in an area of the home separate from the tour. When it comes time to show that area, simply have them move to another room to avoid any potential distractions.

Tip #4 – DeClutter
Get rid of clutter. Nobody wants to walk through your house & see a bunch of “stuff” lying around. And while you’re at it, make sure you organize your closets, because yes, they’re going to open closet doors, so make sure they’re orderly. The same goes for kitchen cabinets…organize your dishes and non-perishables so they are neat. You want buyers, when they open your cabinets, closets and drawers, to see that they are organized, neat and spacious. If your closets, cabinets and drawers are full, buyers will think there isn’t enough room for their belongings, and will eliminate your house from their list of possibilities.

Tip #5 – Eliminate Signs of Pets
Not all buyers love animals, and animal hair. If you have pets, do what you have to do so there are no signs of pets in your house. Put away the food bowls, the water dishes, the toys, the beds. Make sure your pets are not in the house, as well. Take them for a walk, a ride, to the park, a neighbor’s house. Buyers looking at your house will appreciate walking around without animals at their feet, making noises, or being disruptive. It’s important buyers have the absolute best experience touring your house.

Tip #6 – Hide Medications and Valuables
If you have prescription medications and you keep them in a medicine cabinet, be sure you remove them before your open house. The same goes for medications that you might keep in the kitchen, on your bedroom nightstand, on your dresser…put them away so anyone who attends your open house doesn’t see them. The same is true for jewelry and any other valuables. Put them away, out of sight.

Tip #9 – Clear Walkways
Make sure your driveway, other parking areas, sidewalks and all walkways are clear. First, it’s part of the overall curb appeal. Second, you don’t want anyone tripping and falling over debris. Likewise, make sure any walkways to the side and rear of your house are cleared as well. If buyers like your house, They will ask you to walk around the entire perimeter.

Tip #10 Turn on all the lights; open all doors to the house and all the rooms
You don’t want to have to turn on the lights and open doors while giving the tour.
Start your tour on the street, making sure people can see the whole house and yard. Introduce yourself, thank people for joining you, and encourage them to engage by asking questions in the comments or chat functionality of the platform.

VIDEO TIPS
Have Seller Hold phone camera horizontally. This is going to give viewers a wider angle so they can see more.

Walk and pan slowly while describing the grains in the hardwood floor or the weathered granite countertops – remember, you want to sell the place, but not oversell it. It’s important that buyers are given a realistic impression of the home, just as they would if they were there in person.

Set a Basic Script and be as descriptive as Possible
While a virtual open house solves the issue of showing the property without technically inviting anyone in, it does create challenges in helping potential homebuyers envision themselves living in the space. Similar to writing a listing description, be sure to use as many factual adjectives as possible. If a room features intricate woodwork, be sure to call attention to the detailed wainscoting or antique crown molding, for example.

Communication is Key
First, be sure to keep lines of communication open  to schedule a time for your virtual walk-through. Discuss how this will be conducted, ask questions and come up with a gameplan. Which specific details of your home should you showcase? Will you be part of the conversation? Understanding how you and your Seller will work together to make this an informative and quality virtual open house starts with great communication. Do a test run.

Greet people as they come online, ask them to confirm that they can hear audio, let them know you're going to wait a couple of minutes to get started.

 Take them through the tour telling them the same details that you would in person (talk about the neighborhood, the updates, features you especially like). Remember to take your time since there may be a bit of a lag on the meeting stream.

 At the end of the tour, ask for feedback and for questions and follow up with emails. and Buyers may want to see other portions of the home again.

As this virus continues to keep human contact at a minimum, agents and sellers will need to work together to keep the home buying and home selling process run smoothly. 

I hope this helps.

Jeff Kermath
Mr. Flat Fee MLS Jeff
Kermath Realty, LLC