We recently shared with you what has been happening in the real estate industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most parts of the process of buying or selling have gone virtual, from showings to closings.
Since then, we’ve heard from lots of folks, wanting to know how to prepare their homes to sell in this new real estate environment. It’s a good question because showings online are a bit different than showings in person.
Getting the interior ready for its close-up
The prep work that was required pre-pandemic still holds true: clean and declutter the home. If you have any doubts about whether an item should remain in the home or get boxed up, go with the latter.
The idea is to create a somewhat clean slate so that potential buyers can see themselves living in the home. Here are some of the items to consider removing:
- Family photos
- Diplomas and certificates
- Stacks of magazines and newspapers
- Oversized furniture (it makes rooms look smaller)
Clear the bathroom and kitchen counters of anything that isn’t decorative. Need inspiration? Find decluttering advice online at GoodHousekeeping.com, ProfessionalStaging.com, and ApartmentTherapy.com.
Now it’s time to get to the cleaning. We spoke with our favorite cleaning professional who suggests taking it a room at a time. Then, clean from top to bottom as you work your way around the room. From ceilings (and ceiling fixtures) to baseboards, clean every surface.
As you clean, check that the room’s lighting is sufficient. You want the rooms to appear as bright as possible. Consider brighter bulbs or adding additional lighting.
Finally, take some of your own videos of each room and then scrutinize them. How’s the furniture placement? Ensure that the rooms don’t look cluttered with furniture. Experiment with different arrangements to find the one that makes each room look its best.
Don’t forget about curb appeal
An effective video tour will start at the curb and follow the route a homebuyer and his or her agent would take to enter and tour the home.
This means that how your home appears from the curb, and the experience offered as the potential buyer navigates to the front door is critical.
Clean up and spruce up the landscaping between the curb and the front door. Get rid of debris and kid and pet toys. Then turn your attention to what’s planted in the landscape. Yank dead or dying plants and then prune and fertilize what’s left.
Consider purchasing flowering plants or those with colorful foliage, such as caladium. The color will pop when it’s on video. Finally, spread fresh mulch in the planting beds.
How’s the porch looking? The front door is an often-overlooked aspect of a home’s curb appeal (or lack thereof) so consider giving it a fresh coat of paint. Don’t shy away from using a bold color, if it coordinates with the home’s color. Consider a vibrant red or even black.
In fact, a study conducted by online listing portal Zillow.com found that “houses with black or charcoal gray front doors sold for as much as $6,271 more than expected,” according to Julia Glum at Money.com.
If there is room on the porch, consider adding pots of colorful flowers or stately potted evergreens.
When you’re finished, take an experimental video tour of the home. Start at the curb, go up to the front door, open it, enter the home and then tour it, with the camera operating.
When it’s complete, watch the video, with an eye toward anything that may look out of place, any areas that appear cluttered, or any other changes you can make to wow a potential buyer.
We’d love to view your video with you and offer tips for making your home the belle of the video-tour world.