That’s right, and you didn’t even know it happened. With over 90 percent of buyers researching online before ever getting in the car, your first showing will happen within hours, if not minutes of your home being entered into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
There is a lot to do before those photos are taken, but those photos will be a big reason why a home buyer will choose to see your home in person or dismiss it all together.
So what are my top five tips for getting ready to sell?
1. Crisp, sharp and clean
Hire someone to come in and deep clean. Windows, trim, kitchen cabinet doors. It’s amazing how many places you don’t look at when you live there. We all get scuffs on walls, and baseboards can look dingy. Kids put a lot of wear-and-tear on banisters and door jamb trim. If you don’t need to repaint, at a minimum, get those cans of paint out of the garage and do some touch up. New caulk and clean grout in bathrooms can make a world of difference.
2. Less is more unless it’s light
I don’t adhere to the “de-personalize” suggestions. Buyers like to look at your family photos and to see how you live in your home. Just take the quantity of things (knick-knacks, bric-a-brac, clutter) down a few notches. Minimize furniture pieces. The less you have in your home, the more your home shows off its space. Bright, open and airy are always top buyer desires. Pull the curtains back, open the blinds and add a floor lamp if you have a dark room.
3. Visit yourself
Most of us enter our homes through the garage. Try parking out front and entering through the front door. Curb appeal is huge and it hits the buyer before they enter your home. Look at your grass and landscaping. Do your bushes need to be trimmed? Stand in the foyer for a minute and imagine what the buyer will think. If it doesn’t say “welcome home” to you, it probably won’t to a buyer.
4. Sweat the small stuff
Of course if you have major items that need to be fixed, you need to fix them. But don’t disregard the potential negative impact of small things. Loose door handles, missing vent covers or a water stain on the ceiling from an issue that has been fixed. These things will raise other questions. Buyers will wonder what might be wrong with the home in areas they can’t see.
5. Ace your first showing
And back to my first point. Don’t have your home listed with the intention of taking photos in another few days. If you're thinking about selling, then you’ve probably searched online for another home. How much time did you spend looking at listed homes with no photos?
Bob Strader is a local realtor with The NORTH Group of Keller Williams Realty. More information can be found on his blogs liveincumming.com or liveinalpharetta.com, or email him: firstname.lastname@example.org.