Recent statistics show that 90% of homebuyers are searching for their next homes online. It used to be that a buyer would look at the Sunday paper filled with listing and upcoming open houses. They might drive by a listing, or go through an open house. If they were working with a buyer’s agent, that agent would keep them up to date on new listings as they became available, and take them to see potential properties. That was the only way to see the inside of the homes, unless there was a printed flyer in a box on the sign with a few badly smudge interior shots.
Things have changed, and homeowners need to remember these 5 things:
1. You need great photos.
A buyer searching online will pass over a listing that has no photos available. Pictures are interesting, pictures sell, and they all need to be good in order to snag the interest of a buyer. This means both interior and exterior shots. You may have the most fantastic house on the block, but if you have bad pictures, you may lose buyers that you never even knew about. If the photos don’t entice them to take the next step, there will be no next step and you’ve lost them.
2. 79% of buyers will drive by a house based on what they have seen online.
You’ve gotten a buyer’s interest, and they decide to get in the car and drive by the house. What will they see? Freshly mulched beautiful landscaping, or an overgrown garden with lackluster shrubs and bare patches in the grass? Is the front walk in good shape, and the door painted a bright color, or are there cracks in the sidewalk and empty planters. How many buyers may choose to keep driving because the front entry is not welcoming? Make sure the front of your home looks great all the time, not just for open houses and showings.
3. The number 1 most important room is the kitchen.
How does your kitchen stack up to those in other neighborhood listings? Walk through local open houses, or use the Internet to see the inside of your neighbor’s home for sale. Do they have stainless steel appliances and granite countertops? Do you? How can you make your kitchen more desirable to a potential buyer?
4. Highlight unique details in photos and listing information.
Have you done a lot of up upgrades? Are there custom features in your home that a buyer cannot find elsewhere? Is there a rich history to the house that makes it unique? Make sure that your realtor is aware of these things and can share them with potential buyers.
5. Outdoor living spaces.
Don’t forget the outdoor spaces when photographing your home. In Baltimore, we have three seasons we can spend outdoors, and if your home features a great view, awesome deck, or sparkling pool, brag about it. Porches can be staged with rocking chairs and potted plants. Highlight how decks and patios make outdoor entertaining a must with dining sets and comfortable seating.
What are the things about the house that excited you when you purchased it, and what do you hope house hunters will be excited about? Buyers tend to go with their emotions, make sure that your is up to the task of creating good ones.
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