One thing to remember is that everything you place online, or in any public place for that matter, can be viewed by the desired audience and everybody else.
Not everyone has the best intentions so we need to be careful and think about what we are putting out there.
This includes the virtual tour of your home!
In fact, I would bet most people who view your home online are not qualified buyers who are actually looking to purchase it.
Can I see a show of hands of everybody reading this has taken a virtual tour of a property.
Way out of your price range just for kicks.
Some folks in the real estate industry are pushing really hard for the use of very fancy photography, including 2D/3D interactive floorplans. These types of photography packages look really flashy in service presentations. You can literally, virtually walk through the home. You can zoom in and see the texture on the walls, the fixtures and the hardware on the cabinetry. What no one seem to mention is that they show a lot of information that you may not want the whole cyber world knowing!
Such as the location of entry and exit points, places valuables may be more likely to be stored, the location and brand of your security alarm keypad, that $5000 painting hanging right next to the 2nd window from the right on the left side of the house and where your kids sleep! Can you say Creepy!
It has long been known that thieves, burglars, crooks and the like, sometimes, use open houses to case homes for future robberies If they don’t just snatch valuables while they are there!
Now some in the real estate industry are making their job much easier!
They are unwittingly doing this by providing the thieves with all the information they need to case your home from the comfort of their (possibly stolen) couch. They can now carry out their mission armed with all sorts of information to make “the job” go off without a hitch!
In many markets and most price ranges a set of good photos showing the homes features NOT focused on the homes contents are all that is needed for a professional Realtor® to gather the information needed to match a home in the MLS with a qualified client looking to purchase.
If for some reason their buyer client is not local or unable to view the home and wants more information, then the buyers agent can schedule an appointment to view your home on their behalf and gather the information requested for their client. At least that way you have some level of additional security in that the agent will have to actually be a licensed agent to gain access and the buyer will have, hopefully, been vetted for their ability to purchase your home.
But, what about my online exposure and marketing directly to my potential buyers you ask? Well, that is a good question.
Public sites such Trulia, Zillow and Realtor® are very popular and the way most home buyers begin their quest for a new home.
So if your home meets their needs, has a good set of photos accurately displaying your homes features and a great description your home will be enough to entice a willing, ready and able buyers to explore further by contacting their Realtor®.
If you so desire a virtual tour of your home then stringing those safer home photos together without compromising the security of your family should be sufficient for buyers who are ready to purchase. This will allow them to gather enough information to propel them to the next step which is of course contacting their agent for additional information.