You're probably tired of hearing about “curb appeal” and its effect on home sales.
There's a story.
Real estate agents used to spend a lot of time driving people around to view listed houses...lots and lots of listed houses. And every once in a while, when an exhausted agent would pull up to a house with a sign out front, one of the buyers in the car would say, “Next!”
The property didn't appeal to them at all from the curb, and they were ready to move on.
These days, a great many prospective buyers do research online themselves before they get to the point of calling an agent.
So, pictures have become the new “curb appeal”. This means individuals thinking about selling their home need to consider many things before photos are posted online to attract buyers.
To keep people from clicking past your online listing, you might want to try these 10 tips:
1. The pictures of your home will be on a website, or multiple websites, for all the world to see, and possibly for a long time.
So, you want to give the presentation your best effort.
Photos of your property, both exterior and interior, should be well planned and of a high quality, not fuzzy or poorly lit.
2. Remove all visible paperwork and clutter. Piles of clothing or unmade beds can be so distracting that a buyer may fail to notice the room itself.
To form your own opinion on this, visit websites that showcase residential real estate such as zillow.com or realtor.com.
3. Remove everything from the front of the refrigerator, including all calendars, magnets, and scheduling. Put them out of sight.
If the buyers are hoping that a new house will simplify their hectic lives, you don't want to overwhelm them with a glimpse of your “to do” list.
4. Clean, clean, clean. Don't forget the windows! The extra sunlight is important. If there's a room where you don't need draperies, leave them off!
5. Remove all the pictures of your family to allow the new people to visualize themselves living in the house.
Pictures of your daughter's wedding or the adorable new baby can cause buyers to lose focus on a walk-through.
6. Objectively look at your furnishings. If there are damaged pieces that can't be cleaned or repaired, consider removing them.
Actually, it might be a good time to replace that worn sofa with a style that will work in your new home as well.
If this is out of the question, measure the piece and purchase a lightweight bedspread in a solid neutral color, large enough to completely cover it. Why a solid color? Because you're trying to downplay the item, not make it stand out.
7. If you are lucky enough to be able to replace some of the furnishings, consider using a mixture of old and new elements. This may appeal to a large audience, as some people will notice the modern pieces, while others will remember the antiques or reproductions.
Textured, softly upholstered pieces with clean contemporary or transitional lines displayed with wooden accents such as sack back Windsor chairs and farm tables create a modern setting with a sense of history.
8. Walk through the home from the front door, trying to view it from a buyer's point of view.
Make sure encroaching furniture doesn't block the logical path or that heavy lighting fixtures aren't blocking the line of sight making the room appear visually smaller.
9. Tell a story in the way you set up the house so that you don't need to be present during showings.
The house will do the talking for you.
If you live in the country, make a counter top display of mouthwatering produce from the local farmer's market spilling out of a basket.
If your property is suitable for horses, hang an equestrian picture in an obvious location.
If the city is at your doorstep, hang a photograph of the way that the city lights sparkle at night.
10. Be aware when you're watching decorating, staging and real estate shows on television that for dramatic effect, they sometimes paint the walls in colors that would be hard to live with in real life.
Of course, that depends on your color tolerance.
Consider the buyer. How can you make it as easy as possible for the next person to move in without having to repaint, or strip wallpaper because it doesn't work with their furnishings?
Also, be careful of following trends. There are beautiful neutral paint colors and muted palette tile designs other than the ones currently being overused.
Need further help with staging?
Call Barbara Duckloe Townsend at (570) 897-6172
And if you're interested, she'll also be able to help you with some of the great pieces available on the Frederick Duckloe & Bros. showroom floor.
Written by Carolyn T. Berardesco