Technology is constantly evolving and changing our lives, including in the way homes are sold. While curb appeal is still an important way to attract potential buyers, it is now just as important to have screen appeal as well. Screen appeal refers to your home’s aesthetic appeal when viewed online via pictures, videos, or virtual tours. The National Association of REALTORS® Research Group found 44 percent of buyers in 2018 started their search by looking at listings online.
To make the most of this opportunity, you’ll need to put in some work to make sure a potential buyer’s first impression is a good one. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to giving your home strong screen appeal.
Much like getting your home ready for showings and open houses, decluttering is one of the first things to do to improve screen appeal. Even if it doesn’t seem cluttered to you, it may appear that way in photos or videos. Remember that the less items you have sitting around, the more open it will appear. However, you don’t want to remove everything as your home will look cold and empty.
Here are a few decluttering tips to help you get started:
- Put away children’s toys, coats, shoes, sporting equipment, pet toys and beds, books, newspapers, and magazines.
- Move any smaller appliances or knickknacks off counters to give your home an increased appearance of openness.
- Remove items like magnets, artwork, coupons, and calendars from your fridge.
- Donate or get rid of anything you don’t want to bring along on your move.
If you need more help decluttering, following these tips and tricks will help give your home an airy feel.
Store away items that clearly make the home yours. If your home is still personalized specifically to you, it can be difficult for buyers to envision themselves living there. These personalized items include family photos, awards, and framed certificates. It is a good idea to remove anything that might be controversial or political, and be sure to store away any collections you may have as these items can clutter a house and take away from the view of your home’s specific features.
Also, make sure to store any valuables out of sight. Keep jewelry, expensive electronics, valuable collectables, and any other tempting items out of photos or videos of your home online.
You’ll want to set up your home in the best way possible to look good in photos or video. Consider the layout of your furniture. While the current setup might be right for your living situation, you may be able to maximize space by rearranging your furniture. A layout that shows more open space can look more appealing in photos.
Another thing to consider is how you’re using your rooms. If you’ve converted rooms to fit your needs, like making a bedroom a family room or a dining room a home office, you should stage it back to its intended purpose for the online listing.
Don’t forget the outside of your house! The front of your home is often the first photo people will see online, so putting effort into the curb appeal is still vital. You’ll want to clean up the landscaping, make any needed repairs, power wash your deck or porch, and declutter your yard of objects such as lawn ornaments, signs, or toys. If you need more tips on updating the outside of your home, these hacks will help your home capture both curb and screen appeal.
Painting is a great way to help your home stand out to potential buyers, and it can be crucial for your online listing. Always consider the color of paint you’re going to use. Every buyer will have their own style and preferences, so you should present them a blank slate. Try going with a palette of neutral colors like cream, white, or light gray. Before painting, make sure to do any touch-up work your home needs like sanding down chipped paint or removing stains with soap and water.
Giving your home some TLC will help make it shine in photos and videos. Wipe down all surfaces like tables, countertops, and shelves, and sweep, vacuum, and mop your floors. This is a good time to seek out any small blemishes that might need fixing, such as cracked surfaces, small holes in walls, or scuff marks.
Make sure your windows are clean and free of obstructions to allow more natural light into your home, as dark rooms can have a negative impact on your photos and video. Opening shades and blinds can help make rooms appear spacious, and checking to see if all lightbulbs work and are the same color will give your lighting a boost.
When in doubt, consult a real estate agent for tips on how to increase your home’s screen appeal. By taking the right steps, you can make sure your home looks picture-perfect.