Three Ways to Make a Home Video Tour
Dear Monty: We will sell our home on our own in the spring. We want a video so people can preview the house first to see if it will work for them. It saves us from showing the house to someone that walks away because they didn't like the floor plan. We save time getting ready for the showing, and the buyer saves a trip to an unsuitable home. Do you have any advice for making the video?
Monty's Answer: In addition to the benefits you describe, other more succinct benefits are accruing. As a seller, you are sending a message that you are considerate and serious about selling. You are also building trust at the beginning of a casual relationship. Many buying prospects will reciprocate back. These little gestures are a positive step that may lead to negotiation. Hence, both seller and buyer have a positive feeling. Anecdotally, more buyers and sellers are asking for a three-dimensional visual production.
Here are three different methods; there may be others, but these seem the best because they are easy, cost-effective and high-quality.
No. 1: PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS: There is much more to creating an outstanding photograph than most of us realize. While smartphone companies make it seem like you can just point and shoot, there is a significant learning curve in reality. The how-to of framing the shot, lighting, perspective, composition and contrast all come into play. Photographers specializing in home tours use products like Matterport, Chameleon and Ricoh360. All you have to do is open the door. Depending on the size of your home, where you live and the photographer's skill level, a video tour can cost between $200 and $800 or more.
No. 2: A SMARTPHONE APPLICATION: These products allow you to create your videos for a fraction of the cost of a professional photographer. They have different features and different methods to produce the final product. For example, some require you to download your video to the company. They do the production and send you the finished product. Others generate the video within the app. In checking the Apple Store, three apps stood out: Zillow 3D Home, The3DApp and HomesGo, and they all are free. The Google Play store has the free Google Tour Creator to check out. It works on your computer, specific phone web browsers or Google Cardboard.
No. 3: TAKE PHOTOS: String them together in apps on your smartphone or computer browser. This writer has only read the product marketing material. Apple's iMovie app has been free and pre-installed on the iPhone and any Apple computer since 2010. Filmora states they are the best. They offer a free trial and a $49.00 annual subscription. Movavi is a free alternative to iMovie and runs on Windows products. To give you a sense of a finished product, here is a sample of photographs shot by a professional and strung together on iMovie to display a ship model.
A FORMER AGENT'S PHOTOS?
Finally, suppose you are using photographs of your home that you did not take. In that case, you need to get permission from the photographer, as anyone who violates any of the exclusive rights of a copyright owner is an infringer and may be liable for damages. Here is a link to the copyright office.
Richard Montgomery is the author of "House Money: An Insider's Secrets to Saving Thousands When You Buy or Sell a Home." He advocates industry reform and offers readers unbiased real estate advice. Follow him on Twitter at @dearmonty, or at DearMonty.com
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