Real Estate Videos: Create a Video to Sell Your Home
You've spent hours staging your home to welcome buyers, set an “Open House” sign in the yard, and waited patiently for the crowds to appear. Even with very good advertising and marketing, interested buyers may not be ready to drop in when you're ready for them. Take prospective homebuyers by the hand and lead them on a video tour through your home.
Pique Their Interest But Don't Reveal Too Much
Film the garden and landscape, but don't dwell dramatically on a particularly lovely spray of flowers. Explain that the garage features built in tool cabinets, but don't open each one. A good shot of the swingset convinces buyers your home is perfect for their family, so you don't have to stage a cute kid playing on the equipment.
The point with a video is to get potential buyers interested in your property. Mention that you can give a more detailed explanation in person or over the phone. And don't say the price of the home in the video—with markets fluctuating wildly today's asking price is likely to change, but a video is forever once it's uploaded.
You'll want to keep the time of the final video as short as possible while still covering all the strong points of your home. Virtual house shoppers may lose patience if you don't capture their attention and keep it throughout the tour.
Do a Dress Rehearsal
Think how you would conduct the tour if the person were there with you and walk through the whole sequence of events before committing it to digital. As you move along, take final notes about closet doors that won't slide neatly on their tracks, smudges on windows, artwork slightly askew, and a lonesome spider web wafting from the ceiling. In person, a buyer might overlook these small faults. On video, they'll jump out each time the buyer hits “Play again.”
Listen carefully for squeaking hinges and creaking floors because they'll sound like your mansion is haunted on the audio. Write yourself a script so you'll have something positive to say about each area of the home and to cover awkward silences. Try to avoid the obvious (“Here is the stove”) but point out qualities that may not transfer to video well (“High quality laminate floor for easy cleaning”).
Finally, watch out for mirrors and reflective surfaces, and make sure your hair and clothing are presentable just in case your reflection gets caught on film.
Choose the Right Time to Film
Follow good photography practices while making your film, and keep these points in mind:
- Never film at night. Make sure the sun is shining brightly and that the curtains are drawn back to let it in. At the same time, avoid framing the shot directly into the light—you should usually have light sources behind you if possible.
- Listen for traffic and other sounds and try to shoot your video when they're at a minimum.
- Make sure your neighbors aren't having a backyard barbecue or an argument, and that neighborhood kids are at school.
- Wind noise may completely wreck any outdoor shots, so try to film on a calm day.
- If you're still living in the home while it's for sale, make sure your stray belongings are tucked out of sight as they would be during an open house.
- Unplug the phone and turn your cell phone off. Also leave your high heels at the door—you're not making a war movie here.
No amateur home tour will be perfect, but you can minimize distractions for the viewer and help the filming process go smoothly.
Buy, Rent or Borrow a Good Camera
You want a camera that compensates for shaky hands with crystal clear audio quality. A tripod is almost a must, and an external microphone might capture your voice more clearly than a camera microphone. Call camera shops in your area and ask if they rent cameras for the day, or ask around among your good friends or co-workers.
Don't try to get the whole presentation in one take. You'll be able to edit later, so be patient and do your best. It's helpful to have a camera with a lot of memory and perhaps built-in editing software because you won't feel the need to rush or settle for less than stellar results in the final video. Once you've done your dress rehearsal a couple of times, you'll know where to trim.
Final Tips for Amateur Videographers
If you have a high learning curve with editing the raw footage, ask for help. Your local high school may have a kid with just the right skills, or a tech-savvy friend might help you out. Editing doesn't have to be fancy, but there will be places in the footage that should be left on the cutting room floor, so to speak.
Music is optional and should only be included by a skilled editor. Don't try to be too “tricky” or dramatic with your shots, nor should you put the hard sell on the potential buyer with your script. Just tell it like it is—this is absolutely the best home on the market, available for the right buyer at the right price.