Published on March 25, 2020

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Photography by Eujarim/Getty Images

From open houses to back-to-back showings, all the strategies home sellers usually rely on to find the perfect buyer are off-limits for the time being. As the reality of the COVID-19 outbreak sinks in, many agents have been instructed not to plan in-person tours to protect people. Still, that doesn’t mean house hunting is dead—it’s just gone virtual.

In the past two weeks, Zillow has seen a 326 percent spike in the creation of 3-D home tours. The real-estate platform measured the jump by comparing the rise of new postings to the average number of AI-powered tours made in February. All you have to do is download the company’s free app, which allows you to take 360-degree panoramic photos. 

The purpose of the immersive tool is to give listings a more engaging presentation and help get more eyes on them—and it works. Zillow’s data before the pandemic showed that 3-D tours were saved by users 50 percent more, and those houses sold on average 10 percent faster. 

Want to keep things moving? Before you pull out your camera, consider doing some rearranging first. Centering all the furniture and art in a room to the main wall is one way to appeal to the greatest number of people, according to professional stager Porter Hovey. Another trick we learned from the Manhattan-based decorator: Shift your plants. Aside from filling dead space, greenery can create partitions, cover bad cords, and simply add life to a space. 

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