One of the first things a buyer sees is the front of your property. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) estimates that 88% of all home buyers search online for a home. Check out these stats. If you don’t have an enticing lead image of the front, back or maybe even a kitchen as the first photo on the Internet, you can kiss the click throughs goodbye.
Snow on the front lawn in May? FORGET IT! They will just tap the NEXT button.
Since we all know that many people judge a book by its cover, having a great intro to a house is key. That means a photo with green grass, landscaping that does not resemble an overgrown jungle, a blue sky and a good angle of the image that is not blurry.
Buyers are busy people. According to the NAR here is the breakdown for buyers:
Active home search (median):
- Number of weeks searched: 12
- Number of homes seen: 12
Buyers will tell you they like to see atleast 10 and as many as 20 decent shots of the front, back, living space and yard before they make a long trip to see your home. They want to see the rooms, not your stuff. Bad photos are a huge negative and one of the main reasons why houses do not get shown or sold.
At Towne Realty Group in Short Hills, NJ we work hard to get our listings prepared for sale so the buyers stay interested. We just listed 74 Browning Road in Short Hills, NJ for $1,150,000 and in three days we had the landscaping cleaned up, flowers planted, windows washed, the house cleaned and we made sure to load many hi-res images on 100 websites to announce the Open House on Sunday March 18th from 1 to 4 pm.
Here are some basics things to avoid when selling your home and keep the buyers tuned in.
First of all – Price it right. Nothing is a bigger turnoff than a house that is overpriced. Buyers are doing their homework and they know what is for sale and what has recently sold. They don’t care what you paid, what you want or what you need. They only care about what they like, what they want and what it’s going to cost them.
GET OUT! Take all pets, kids, family and friends and let the buyers see the house without you in it. They don’t want to feel like they are trespassing. I can tell you from experience that puppies are very cute, but not as lovable when they jump and urinate excitedly on a buyers foot.
Dark houses are scary. Open the shades, turn on the lights and make it bright and cheerful. Be sure your windows are not dirty and your bulbs are not burned out. You may even want to get some higher watt lights bulbs in rooms without sunlight and cut down bushes that block light from the entire window.
Get rid of odors. There is nothing like smoke, strong cooking smells, old dogs, garbage, or kitty litter to get a big thumbs down. Pop an apple with cinnamin in the oven on a low temp and it can bake for hours making the whole house smell like pie, or light a candle or two.
Take down the wall paper from the 1970’s! Hire a painter. It is money well spent and buyers truly appreciate that you took the time to freshen things up. They can’t picture themselves in a room where they can see their own reflection in the metallic patterns of wild wall paper from the last century.
Pull up those old carpets. Hardwood floors are in syle and many buyers or their family members have allergies and don’t want the dust from your old rugs and carpets. If you can’t remove carpeting, atleast have it shampooed with allergy free cleaning fluid.
CLEAN UP! Declutter, pack up and put your junk in storage. Less is more and dirt is a huge turn off. Your house really needs to sparkle and shine. That dusty attic, filthy oven, basement full of junk, scum on shower doors, mold and mildew in the bathroom are a sure fire way to get them rushing to the next property. Kitchen counters lined with vitamins & condiments, refrigerators covered with photos, magnets and holiday cards, bathroom sinks & counters lined with mouthwash, toothbrushes and hair spray are distracting. Hire a cleaning service!
The list goes on and on, but with just these basics, a seller has a much better chance of getting showings, repeat showings and an offer.
We are working with dozens of qualified buyers and they all want the same thing (albeit in different price ranges and varying areas). A bright, attractive, clean home that will be a nice place to live and a good investment.
Check out our Buyer Bulletin Board to see if your home might be right for one of our many buyers or investors.
In closing, here is my motto:
“Price it right, it sells overnight. Price it wrong, it stays on too long.”
~Karen Eastman Bigos