By Jane Purnell
As Covid-19 case numbers drop and life begins its new normal, homebuyers will be itching for in-person open houses come summertime. Virtual tours have led the way this year, and they have proven successful. Those photos and videos are more important than ever to entice buyers to take the next step. With that in mind, here are five things to do now to prepare for a summer sale.
1. Boost the Curb Appeal
Viewing the landscape is a homebuyer’s first opportunity to picture their new life in a potential home. If they don’t like what they see on their way to the entrance, selling this home just became an uphill battle. The worst-case scenario? They choose not to come inside.
According to a 2019 HomeLight report, 94% of agents agree that amazing curb appeal equals more money at closing. Easy curb appeal solutions include:
- Hire a lawn care professional to spruce up the lawn.
- Take advantage of the spring growing season.
- Mulch the flower beds to help them pop.
- Invest in a landscape designer (if you have the budget).
Don’t assume that you can just fertilize your lawn once and forget it. That’s one of the five common lawn care myths. A lush lawn needs routine applications.
2. Pressure Wash
In-person homebuyers often make up their minds about a home before they even step inside, and it has a lot to do with their first impression outdoors. Virtual tours have made the first impression easier, as the buyers often start right at the entryway.
But with in-person visits, buyers can get a closer look at the cleanliness around the home, such as the driveway, porch, and exterior siding. So before you invite eager buyers, make sure to get your outdoor surfaces squeaky clean with a pressure washer.
3. Clean the Gutters
Gutters are a headache for every homeowner. Selling a home with clogged gutters only reminds potential buyers of this burden. And they’ll need to make a mental note to have the gutter system cleaned once they move in. Avoid this lousy impression by getting those gutters cleaned now, as they’re likely filled to the brim with autumn and winter debris.
4. Clean the Windows
Pollen, sap, and dirt from springtime will block the sunlight from shining in. The more light, the better the photos and the impression of your home. Hire a professional to get those windows sparkling, so homebuyers don’t have to grimace at the lackluster view.
5. Virtually Stage the Inside of Your Home
Leave a lasting impression on potential buyers with a staged home. Staging your home with furniture shows buyers how they can best use the rooms. But you don’t want too many odds and ends making the rooms look smaller. The right arrangement will make the rooms appear larger and more spacious than they are. If necessary, rent a storage unit to store those extra knick-knacks, family photos, and antiques.
Want to save some money and a lot of hassle. Have your photographer create a virtual tour of your home that you can attach to the listing. Choose a package that includes motion graphics or a voice-over. This will attract only the serious buyers to your home and not just the looky-Loos.
Is virtual staging worth the investment? In some cases, it leads to a faster sale. According to a 2019 Report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 83% of buyers’ agents said staging a home makes it easier for buyers to visualize the property as a future home.
Keep in mind: A picture is worth a thousand words, and the right photos could be worth thousands of dollars more at closing time.
Jane Purnell is a freelance writer and actor in New York City. She studies real estate and landscaping trends that offer the best return on investments.