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Picture Perfect Strategies for Attracting Home Buyers

Are you looking for easy yet inexpensive ideas to sell your home when your income or financial future depends on it? The key is attracting buyers, and there are dos and don’ts that can make a significant difference.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 98 percent of home buyers who searched for a home online said that photos were among the most useful features on real-estate websites. Professional real estate agents will tell you that most properties are sold based on what the potential buyer sees, their emotions and price. This is why photographs, floor plans and virtual tours are such important tools for marketing your property.

Is your property picture perfect?

Will a picture of your property hold up to the scrutiny of the potential buyer when making numerous comparisons online to other properties in your area in your price range? The old adage for selling a home was location, location, location. Today it is promotion, promotion, promotion. Does the picture of the outside of your home create picture perfect curb appeal? Do pictures of the inside provide “buyer attracting energy?”

In order to sell a property reasonably quickly at close to asking price you must think and act differently when preparing your home for selling. It must look great in a picture and be welcoming in person.

Prepare Your House to Sell

The first step is to get involved with a professional. Professional real estate agents can offer a wealth of information ranging from how to price your home to what you should do to improve its curb appeal before listing it. Also do your own research on the pricing of homes in your area that are selling – then compare their features to yours. Price your house to sell – keeping in mind that sentimental value does not translate into money. Then, compare the outside appearance to see if other houses in the area look better in photographs than yours. If yes, make changes. Do the same with interior pictures. Here are some steps to making your home more buyer-friendly to give you a competitive edge.

Create curb appeal that sells in person and in photographs. Begin on the outside of your property to attract the buyer, and don’t neglect the backyard. If the front or backyard of your house is not picture perfect do what it takes to make it appealing. Your property is often your largest financial asset – don’t blow a sale because you haven’t properly prepared the house for selling.

Usually this means pruning overgrown or adding some new plantings, removing lawn decorations that would distract from the natural beauty of your home, and eliminating any dead bushes, branches and trees. Then add some colorful plants and shrubbery. Check to make sure door knobs, hinges and outdoor lighting fixtures work and are not broken – if they are broken or not working properly, fix or replace them. If your house looks old and worn, or paint is peeling, invest in a few cans of paint and give it an inexpensive facelift. Only when you are done should any professional photographs be taken of the outside of your house. Make sure several pictures are taken and use the one that makes your house look the best. When photographing, consider the time of day which is most flattering (hint: usually early morning or dusk). With a bit of preparation, your home’s curb appeal will shine in your photographs online and give you a competitive edge when buyers see your house in person.

Make the property buyer-friendly inside. The value of great outside photographs and curb appeal can be destroyed in an instant if the inside of the house is cluttered, not clean or unwelcoming. First, completely unclutter the house. Remove any unnecessary boxes, extra pieces of furniture or paperwork from tabletops. The kitchen and bathroom counters should be clean and almost empty. This is not the time to just shuffle your stuff around but rather make hard decisions and get rid of what you don’t want, need or no longer serves you well. Clean out your closets to make them look as large as possible so potential buyer can visualize their clothes hanging in their new home. Otherwise, they may end up thinking the closets are too small and their clothes will never fit.

Fix dripping faucets, replace drawer pulls and oil squeaky hinges. Repair missing floor tiles, patch and paint holes in walls and fix broken light fixtures. Needed repairs like these are a small investment and dramatically increase the potential for a sale. These repairs along with a thorough uncluttering create great buyer-attracting energy and help keep your property on their potential buy list.

Eliminate foul odors and clean. Offensive odors can be a real turnoff to a potential buyer. Some of the things potential buyers find offensive or are distasteful smells:

  1. Lingering smoke from cigarettes and cigars (even outside on the patio)

  2. Pet urine smells and cat litter odors

  3. Unchecked mold and mildew

  4. Elder care odors from personal hygiene

  5. Unusual food cooking smells

  6. Overly fragranced candles and potpourri

  7. Strongly scented cleaning supplies (bleach, chemicals, etc.)

If any of these linger in your property, eliminate them. Open up the windows to air the house or run the AC if you are expecting potential buyers right away.

Treat cleanliness the same way. Floors, appliances, sinks and tubs should be scrubbed and walls should be clean, even freshly painted if necessary. Most buyers will immediately leave a property that doesn’t meet their cleanliness standards.

Prepare your home so it can compete with the model home across town or the neighbor’s house down the street. Preparation translates into a faster sale and one that is closer to your asking price. To see that “sold” sign in front of your house, take the extra time and care necessary to make it picture perfect.

© Pat Heydlauff, All Rights Reserved

Pat Heydlauff, president of Energy Design, uses Feng Shui design principles to eliminate chaos and stress at home and within oneself. More than a Feng Shui expert, Pat is a consultant and speaker who helps remove clutter and negativity while encouraging personal growth, improved relationships and prosperity. Her new book, “Feng Shui: So Easy a Child Can Do It,” shows how to achieve a better tomorrow. For information on her consulting, speaking and artwork, call: 561-408-2708.

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