Most prospective buyers spend lots of time online looking at photos and videos of houses. It is my job to help sellers show off their homes in exciting new ways. More than 80% of homebuyers last year found their new homes online. I work with my clients to ensure that their homes have great “screen appeal,” which starts with two pieces of advice: walk through your home as if you’re seeing it for the first time and decide what you can do to neutralize the color palette and maximize space.
To optimize your home’s screen appeal, and increase the number of inquiries and showings, I advise my clients to do the following:
Here are a few ideas:
1. Let’s use the most up-to-date technology, including 360 degree professional photography, video, Zillow 3D tours, social media advertising, and put comprehensive listings on multiple platforms and websites.
At Merrill Thomas Real Estate we are the only local firm to have access to Matterport technology. Matterport is the standard for 3D space capture. Much more than panoramic scans, Matterport allows the viewer to capture and connect rooms to create truly interactive 3D models of spaces.
Here is an example of the use of Matterport at one of my listings, 34 Acorn Street in Lake Placid:
2. Let’s clean that house. Nothing is more important. Have the bathrooms spotless (and toilet seats down!). Wash the windows, make the beds, dust, vacuum, and get those fingerprints off your windows and stainless steel appliances.
3. Let’s de-clutter. Clear the kitchen counters of small appliances, have the kitchen sink empty, and cabinet doors closed. Remove any eyesore cords or wires, and put away leftover catalogs and magazines.
4. Let’s do a bit of depersonalizing. You’ll want to ensure buyers can picture themselves living in the home, so put away what you can. I’m not a big believer that you shouldn’t have family photos out, but maybe consider taking the magnets off the refrigerator.
5. Let’s stage every room. Go throughout your home with a critical eye, making small tweaks that can make a big difference: Open the blinds, turn on the lights, and add small touches that make the space feel welcoming.
6. Let’s remove a few of those window screens. Natural light is a big seller, and window screens dim natural light. If you have lake of mountain views, consider removing your window screens before photos are taken, so that you can best show off that million-dollar view!
7. Let’s add some color. Make your photos stand out with splashes of color, like fresh flowers, a few throw pillows, and a cozy blanket.
8. Let’s give every room a purpose. That spare room you’ve been using as an office/den/spare bedroom/dumping ground? Pick a use and clearly stage the space to showcase that purpose.
Remember, we only get to make the right first impression one time. I believe it’s critically important to invest in my properties and represent my clients in a manner that will make them proud.
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me about valuing, listing, and boosting the screen appeal of your home!
Bob Miller is an Associate Broker with 10 years of real estate experience as well as 15 years of service as a former Lake Placid School Board member, and is currently a 3-time elected Town Councilman in Lake Placid.