There is such a tremendous difference between filling an empty space and a well-planned, perfectly balanced design. I’ve recently been looking through some MLS listing photos and the difference in photos always shocks me. The homes that have been well “put together” stand out so far above and beyond the others – there is just really no comparison!
The first difference I always notice is the quality of the photos taken. If the pictures are from an angle that really showcases the room, or just focused on a piece of furniture. Some are taken from a corner in a top down view, these often look good and show more of the space. How is the lighting in the photo? Is it under/over exposed? Is it too dark/light? The photos play a huge role in getting buyers interested and having them want to come view the home. In the past when there was a limited supply of homes, buyers just came to see everything they could. However, now that the selling inventory out paces the buyer’s demand, the only way your home will get short listed for viewing is if it looks good in the pictures when compared to the rest! So the online listing pictures now become that much more important than they ever were before!
Space planning to best showcase a room is huge. First impressions of any space become the key to having buyers fall in love with your home. If your furniture placement is crowding the room, the space will automatically feel small. This is not the first impression you want a buyer to walk away with! Removing extra pieces of furniture or simply rearranging a space can suddenly make it feel much more spacious and much more appealing to buyers. Now is the time to get rid of all those hand me down pieces you’ve acquired from family that you may not necessarily want, especially if you plan to give them away before you move anyway. Don’t wait for your home to sell to remove those pieces, do it before you list your home! It will look so much better for the listing pictures and the showings and you just saved yourself a tremendous amount of time in packing and got a huge jump on your moving chores! Most of my clients are shocked at how much of a difference it makes and all agree they should have done it years ago and would have enjoyed their homes more if they had.
Buyers are looking for homes that are clean, well maintained and give them a certain piece of mind that if they purchase your home, they will not be left with “problems”. I always recommend my clients have the furnace inspected. The electrician will leave a sticker on the furnace when they do so, which gives the buyers piece of mind that you have taken care of routine maintenance. Wash windows inside and out. Again, this gives the impression that you care and look after the “little things” before they can turn in to “big problems” for the home owner. If your home has been well lived in and your walls need a fresh coat of paint, do so. Paint is one of the most inexpensive home improvements but has the biggest return for the amount spent. Select paint colors that are neutral and light enough to ensure they don’t make a space look small. There is a full list of cleaning and de-cluttering in my Handbook that I leave with my clients after a staging consult. The most important thing to remember is that your home is competing with many others now, so to make it stand out it has to look its best. Everything you can do as the Seller to make your home stand out, make sure you take the time and make the effort to do so. Basic repairs and maintenance, cleaning and de-cluttering and staging all help to make your home look its best!
We always say the “Price” has to match the “Condition” of the property when comparable to others in the immediate neighborhood. So, the more you’ve done to prepare your home and the better maintained your home is, the better the asking price you will have. The more you neglect your home and refuse to take care of details, the lower the price will be. It really is that simple!