The First Home Showing is Online

“According to the National Association of Realtors, 63 percent of home buyers will drop by after viewing a home they like online. What will they see? The home’s exterior – including the front entry, yard, driveway, sidewalk — should serve as a snapshot of what’s to come when potential buyers enter your home.” (HGTV)

Curb appeal is important, but to get potential buyers actually to and then in your home, it is all about your home’s web appeal. Your first showing usually happens online. Studies show that sellers and their agents have seven to 10 seconds to capture a buyer’s attention online and if not, they swipe left, pass on the home and move on to the next one. In such little time, you’ve got to make sure your Realtor has upped your web presence!

Start with preparing and staging your home, both inside and outside. Once it has been staged, the key to creating Internet attention is to compose sharp, clear photos that are big and bright! Using a professional photographer can mean the difference in your home selling or not even being seen. Remember, if the photos do not show well, the home will likely be passed over with a simple click of the mouse, with little chance of consideration for an in-person viewing 

What is your home’s best feature? Is it the recently updated chef’s kitchen or the beautiful outdoor pool and patio space? How about that marble fireplace or the home’s front exterior? Whatever it is, be sure to take plenty of photos of the home’s best features. Your Realtor may even want to make one of these photos the first picture that buyers see in the MLS database and other online real estate marketplaces. We recommend walking the home with your real estate agent to assess the property’s best selling points. Prior to the photo shoot, be sure to point out these features to the photographer.

Remember: when it comes to listing photos, quality trumps quantity. Unless your home is the size of a castle, there’s no reason to have 100 listing photos. Not only is having an excessive number of photos overwhelming for homebuyers, but it also doesn’t leave them wanting more. On the other hand, if the listing has too little photos, most buyers will wonder what exactly the sellers are hiding. Your Realtor should be able to provide you with guidance as to the appropriate number of listing photos. Just be sure to choose only the best for the listing. After all, no one needs to see 10 photos of your master bathroom.  

The Bottom Line: So many decisions are being made by home buyers just by the photos they find of your home online.  Make sure your home is at its very best when it comes time to take the listing photos of your home.  When it comes time to hire a Realtor don’t be afraid to ask to see some of the listings they have done so you can check the quality of their real estate photography.

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Pop-Up Office

“The pandemic was unexpected, working from home was unexpected, but nonetheless many companies realized that workers can be just as productive working from home,”

So, here we are. Homebuyers are now, more than ever before, looking for flexible home office space. A room that is quiet and away from distractions and noise. Staging an area where buyers can easily imagine themselves setting up their laptop, making phone calls, storing paperwork, hosting meetings and have video calls is important to highlight.

When staging a space, the room should connect to the buyer on not only the square footage but how potentially functional the area will be for them. If the office is shared with a playroom or a guest bedroom it becomes a deterrent to the buyer by announcing that the home is too small to fit in all the features of a home office. Avoid confusing buyers about the purpose of the room. It’s not a great idea to have a combination of home office, gym and playroom.

Depersonalize and declutter the room. Remove family photos, diplomas, memorabilia, and anything political. All that paperwork that clutters an office? Remove it by filing it away or tossing it. Consider getting cube shelving with attractive file baskets to keep paperwork near, but out of sight. Be sure to dust, especially around the computer and hide all the wiring as best you can. Keep only the bare minimum of fixtures needed for work and arrange them to make the most of the space.

Appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers by working with a calm and neutral color scheme. Never underestimate the power of a new paint job. It can completely redo the look and feel of any space. Painting is one of the most cost-effective ways to stage. If the area is dark, add additional light sources such as light fixtures, floor and table lamps. Possibly even find a bright overhead light. If there are windows in the room, remove dark or light blocking drapes. Allow all the light in (this will also make the space appear larger). Fill the empty walls with simple artwork to add life to the room.

Minimize furniture. You really only need a few pieces to make the room look like an appealing home office. A simple desk, a chair, some accessories are all you really need.

The Bottom Line: Buyer demand for home office space has accelerated because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Look at your area and make sure you are presenting it in the best way. Office space requires a place to not only work but to inspire and motivate. Neglecting to put a bit of effort into a “pop-up” home office can turn away buyers. As always, find an experienced Realtor to come in and see your space with new eyes and offer you solid opinions to get your home sold.

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Home Selling Mistakes

To sell your home, you will have to be objective about everything. It’s a financial asset. The decision to place your home on the market can involve a number of stresses and strains. Regardless of the reason you are selling, the goal is to sell it for the most money in the shortest amount of time. And, with the least amount of hassles and distractions. There are many things to think about, prepare for and to organize.

Overpricing your home

One of the most important pieces in selling your home is determining the right price. The first thing buyers look at when searching for a home is the price. Your home might be perfect but if the price is too high you will miss out on a big group of buyers as it sits on the market longer. A skilled and knowledgeable Realtor will use comparative market analysis and determine the right listing price.

Not making repairs

Over the years while living in a home, it’s easy to overlook small wear and tear issues. When buyers are looking at a home, they are looking at the details. Do all the lights work? Appliances? Small leak in bathroom? Do all the windows open? Don’t forget these details. Even the smallest of issues can turn buyers off and leave them wondering if the owner of the home has neglected bigger issues. Consider hiring an inspector for a pre-inspection to head off any potential issues.

Not staging

Staging a house is a good strategic move for all sellers. Get rid of clutter by purging and removing knick-knacks, hide your political affiliations, degrees, family photos and any other personal items. Box them up and consider renting a storage unit. Open blinds and pull curtains back to make rooms brighter and bigger. A good rule of thumb is to remove about half of your furniture as it will make the home look bigger and more appealing. Next arrange the furniture to create a cozy, intimate space. Paint trendy colored rooms to spruce up the appeal of your home by using traditional colors.

Skipping the curb appeal

The outside of your home is the very first thing that a potential buyer sees when arriving. The aesthetic look of the home’s exterior can be very telling as to what might be found on the inside. Buyers are more inclined to look inside if they like what they see on the outside. Be sure that the yard is well maintained, the paint isn’t chipping or faded, the siding looks good, the roof looks intact, and weeds are pulled.  Burned grass patches can make the home feel old, dated, even neglected and is an easy fix. Consider calling a landscaper to have your yard professionally updated and gardens replenished with mulch, new bushes put in and fresh flowers planted for the season.  

Not marketing well

Be sure to hire a Realtor that knows how to market your home to sell. Professional photos are important for the internet as 79% of buyers search for homes online first and those photos will be their first impression. And, don’t stop at photos – a good virtual tour will pull a buyer in and lead them room by room. The Realtor you hire should know how to use social media platforms to market your home with the photos.

The Bottom Line: Choosing the right Realtor is paramount when putting your house on the market. One who is knowledgeable on the local market and with experience selling in your neighborhood. Selling a home is a big life milestone and can be complex with all the many steps involved. The consequences of a mistake can make a big impact. It pays to spend the time and money to make sure you are getting your home on the market and ready for success.

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Home Selling in The Fall

There’s less competition

Spring seems to steals the show when it comes to selling a home. Reason being that sellers want to capitalize on the weather and with it the beautiful curb appeal. However, because so many sellers want to take advantage of this, the market becomes more competitive making your own home more difficult to stand out from the rest. It’s thought that Fall is a quieter real estate market, but there are many advantages to putting your home on the market for the season, including less competition.

The serious buyers are out

Summer vacations are over giving buyers less time to spend house hunting. Those that are shopping in the Fall are dedicated buyers. Chances are that those who come to view your home are in the middle of a serious house search, which could perhaps make an offer all the more likely. You are now dealing with a more serious pool of buyers. By the time September or October rolls around, these buyers are itching to get their move settled. Nobody wants to move in the snow or during the busy holiday season, so potential buyers usually want to get things signed and sealed as quickly as possible.

Curb appeal

Curb appeal is thought to peak during the Spring, and we all know how important it is to have your property looking its best when you have it on the market. The colors of the leaves are turning beautiful golds and reds making for a dramatic and incredible backdrop for your home. Throw in some potted flowering mums and keep the late-flowering plants cleaned up and you’ve got curb appeal that blows away Spring. Be sure to keep up with the raking as the leaves fall!

Appeal to the senses

The fall and winter months are associated with certain smells and flavors ( pine needles, cinnamon, peppermint, and pumpkin pie). Beyond setting the mood with decorations, you could try appealing to buyers’ senses in multiple ways. When it’s chilly outside, it’s important to make buyers feel warm in more ways than one. Aside from keeping your thermostat at a comfortable level, it’s a good idea to make your home seem inviting.

The Bottom Line: Marketing from a good Realtor will always be a big part of selling any home, and if you sell at their busiest time, which is spring, you run the risk of getting a little less attention than you may want. However, grab them during the off-season of Fall or Winter and your home will be given more attention. There will be extra challenges in selling in the Fall, but if you embrace the season, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a buyer. Take all the necessary steps to improve your chances of selling.

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