When you are trying to sell your home, you need to create value to maximize your gain. Andy and Chris had some differing opinions when it came to photos, but for the most part they agree on what to do when it comes to making your home show its best. First off, it is important to know that not every home will create value in the same way. Price ranges, styles, size, and condition of the home will dictate what you need to do.
Creating value really starts with your online presence. Over 90% of Buyer’s start their search online and you better impress them there. You need to prepare for those photos and make them count. The idea is to intrigue people enough to set up a showing. If you give it all to them online there is no reason to see it. If you give them enough glimpses to intrigue them – you get them to set up a showing. A sale is made at the home, not online. You need to intrigue them enough to get inside.
This is more than about staging your home, it is making it rise above the competition. Generally, we need to let the Buyer picture themselves living there. This may mean taking down the shrine of all the kids and grandkids from 6 months old to high school graduates. Chris believes you should have some photos so the Buyer can get a feel for who has been living there. It makes it more than a house, it makes it a home. Andy feels the buyers need to envision themselves in the house, so eliminating photos is best.
There are many things that can separate you from the competition including natural light. It is so important to not have a dark and gloomy showing. Open up the blinds and turn on the lights. If it is bright, it makes it larger. Now if your backing to a highway, you may want to close them blinds and keep the windows shut! Seal coating a driveway is an excellent way to get a positive first impression. Adding color to the front of the home with flowers is always a winner.
An absolute must is fresh paint and de-cluttering your home. Without these two items, the other stuff may not be worth it. A caller asked if she should “get it on as quick as she can to take advantage of the hot market, or do the de-cluttering and painting it needs.” Andy and Chris both thought she should get the work done prior to listing it. Chris even stated that he would take off work to get it done. It is worth that much to your bottom line!
How about a vacant home vs. a staged or lived-in one? Which is better? Again, it depends. Some homes look better vacant, especially if there are recently updated and the house is smaller. It will make the home appear larger and Buyers will concentrate more on the amenities than the size. If it is small, and they have a bigger couch then what you have in there, they will focus on that. Focus on the positive attributes. For the most part though we would recommend that you have a home staged with furniture and knick knacks. More is not always better, but have it complement your specific home.