As real estate consultants, there are few things that bother us more than a poorly-marketed listing. Cluttered rooms, blurry photos and unimaginative descriptions do nothing to differentiate your listing from the tens, possibly hundreds, of other listings that a buyer has swiped through during their home search. But never fear, there’s hope. With a little preparation, creativity and diligence, your listing can be the one that makes buyers stop and dial up their agent. Here’s our list of the top five things you can do to take your listing from ho-hum to knock-your-socks-off.
Paint, refinish, replace There are few things that provide more bang for your buck than a fresh coat of paint from a modern, bright palette. You want your buyers to be able to walk through the door and imagine themselves moving right in, not wondering how they’re going to cover up your fuschia accent wall. Just be careful not to pick one color for the entire house. You’ll end up with a whitewashed look that will make every room look like the last. After paint, consider the state of your floors next. Refinishing tired hardwoods and replacing worn, stained carpet are cost effective ways to give your floors some pop, and brighten up an entire space. Lastly, consider replacing old hardware and fixtures that may be giving your home a dated look. Focus your attention and budget on doorknobs, light fixtures, cabinet hardware and outlet covers for the biggest visual impact.
Find a new home for the Beanie Babies To be clear, we have nothing against Beanie Babies, we just know that the fewer personal items left out in the open, the better. A big collection or display of your favorite things might give Maria von Trapp something to sing about, but your buyers will probably get the uncomfortable feeling that they’re peering a little too far into your hobbies and interests. You can make your home more welcoming by tucking away those ultra-personal effects. You’ll end up with a less-cluttered look that will give your buyers room to imagine.
Put the iPhone away An iPhone camera is great for snapping selfies and documenting the occasional #nofilter sunset for Instagram. But a camera for your real estate listing, it is not. Make sure that your agent hires a professional, well-trained real estate photographer with the right equipment to get high-quality shots of your listing. Anything less just won’t cut it. Humans are visual creatures, so if you want to make your listing share-worthy online, professional photos are a non-negotiable.
Provide floor plans Floor plans are very much secondary to professional photos, but they are a nice addition to your marketing suite. Buyers may not always be able to discern the layout of your home from the photos alone, but a floor plan helps solve that.
Use fear to your advantage No, we don’t want you to pop out of a closet and yell boo at buyers who visit your listing. But we do want you to harness the fear of missing out to create more urgency in those buyers. Post your listing mid-week, and immediately schedule an open house for the first weekend. Buyers and agents looking at your (beautifully marketed) listing will see the open house and if they’re interested enough, will scramble to get in for a showing before the open house happens, just in case someone snatches it up after the open.