Create a Home Listing Video Worthy of an Oscar -- or an Offer



If you really want to impress home buyers, you should enlist the power of visual storytelling. But what are the secrets to a home listing video that will inspire offers to make an offer?

Ok, let's get this out of the way right up front: We highly recommend that you hire a professional to shoot your home. It's worth the investment! But even pros can be in need of some direction. So take some inspiration from the videos below, which employ a whole array of Hollywood-worthy tactics to make viewers laugh, cry, sometimes cringe, and often share with others. You don't need a blockbuster budget to be hilarious, irreverent, or even emotional. So consider these a starting point, and get those ideas -- and cameras -- rolling.


A little high-nostalgia humor goes a long way toward selling a home. At least, that's what we learned watching this video inspired by "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" showing kids playing hooky and cavorting around in their $48.5 million mansion while their parents are away.

Another viral example: Comic touches and a cheeky British host conducting the tour of this $12.5 million Las Vegas mansion brought international attention to this unique property, called CAVU.

Be like Apatow: You don't need a huge budget to create a funny video of your home. All you need is a sense of humor to write your own schtick. Make people laugh, and they will share.

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This is probably the easiest and cheapest genre of the bunch to produce. Beware: The gross-out factor can be off-putting, unless properly deployed. Just ask Realtor Paul Gomberg, who shot an amusingly disgusting video of a property he deemed "Houston's Filthiest House."

Gomberg took viewers on a tour of a two-story home that had been inhabited by 12 dogs, six cats, a potbellied pig, and owners who couldn't be bothered to pick up after them.

"I like to tell the truth. Being honest and upfront has brought me a lot of business," Gomberg told And honesty paid off. The house quickly got 16 offers.

Be like Cronenberg: Go ahead and show off your home, warts and all -- this is one time when it's all right to let it all hang out. Why not film your place after your amazing New Year's Eve party, or after a new puppy wreaks havoc and rips apart your pillows? Might as well turn that mess into something potentially productive -- like a home listing video -- before you clean up.

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Warm and fuzzy

Selling a home can be ultra-emotional because of all the memories you've built there. And while buyers are more interested in creating their own happy memories, you can show them how to do just that. Be shameless! Tug the heartstrings of buyers, and you can inspire them to follow in your footsteps -- right into your home. That's the mentality behind these home sale videos by RUHM creative director Opie Opfer.

"We bring emotion into it and tell a story, just like they do in film," says Opfer. "The object is to bring heart and soul to the project."

Also note the extensive use of drone photography in RUHM's emotional lifestyle video, " A Full Life: 21 Hurlingham Drive."

Be like Ephron: Odds are you have video footage of happy scenes in your home. Why not splice together the highlights to a nostalgia-inducing playlist? It will double as a home video you can enjoy years after you've left the premises. For aerial shots, you can often find drone photographers on Craigslist -- but they'll need a permit to shoot for commercial purposes.

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This video of a married couple divorcing seems more like a soap opera than a listing for a home. But that's the whole point: " Property drama" is a new trend that employs amateur "actors" (in this case, the home's actual owners) to play out an intriguing plot while the home serves as the gorgeous backdrop.

Be like Bergman: Write a short script, then recruit your pals to perform the roles. The acting may be bad, but hey, the homeowners above aren't exactly going to win any Oscars, either! And talk about fun: Who hasn't dreamed of becoming a soap star at one point?

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Celebrity cachet

In some circles, the fact that the home once belonged to a celebrity can add several hundred thousand, if not a million, to the price tag. So why be coy about its pedigree? Michael Jordan's Realtor Kofi Nartey of The Agency put it all out there in an aggressive video featuring Jordan's regulation-size basketball court, his fully equipped gym, and even his shoes.

Be like Fellini: Assuming that you're not a celebrity and that none ever lived in your home, you could make a video mentioning what famous stars or characters would have loved it there. Would the Kardashians have enjoyed gathering in the grand dining room? Is the kitchen worthy of Rachael Ray?