Visuals and presentation can influence our perceived value of a particular place or product. Think about how luxury hotels and boutiques present themselves. Likewise, how we stage our house for property viewing can affect the prices our potential homebuyers are willing to offer.
With online property viewings becoming more accepted (especially with the restrictions imposed on in-person property viewing during the pandemic), staging your home for online property viewing has the potential to make or break your first impression on a potential buyer. In fact, the visual presentation of a good home staging is more important for online property viewings because it is the only interaction the buyer has with your property.
Regardless of whether you are preparing to stage your home for an online or in-person property viewing, here are some home-staging tips to make your property more appealing to potential buyers.
#1 Declutter The Space
Take a leaf from the luxuriously presented hotel rooms during your staycations and declutter your home. Even the tiniest budget hotel room maximises their space by having minimal clutter. By decluttering the space, buyers will have a clear, undistracted view of the layout and features of your house.
To make your house look tidier and more importantly, bigger, you can remove the unnecessary clutter. For example, unused furniture and appliances can be given away or stored while messy wires can be tidied up with cable management solutions. Photo frames and pictures can be either kept in storage or swapped for more generic images to protect your family’s privacy while allowing your potential buyers to more easily project themselves in the space.
#2 Upgrade or Rearrange Your Furniture
In addition to decluttering, you can rearrange some of your furniture to make your house more inviting in terms of colour coordination and spatial arrangement. If you have some budget, you may want to replace big furniture with smaller ones to create more space, or replace your dingy sofa covers with fresh ones.
Alternatively, you can be creative with existing furniture in your house. Craving out a space for an office desk or work-from-home corner can be appealing to potential buyers who are looking for a place that can accommodate work-from-home arrangements. The main goal is to enable your potential buyers to visualise their own uses for the space, instead of the existing layout which is optimised for your own family use.
#3 Clean Up And Fix Up
Get back to the basics. Do some thorough cleaning of your house, including the floors, windows, mirrors, furniture, corners in all your rooms. Don’t lose the first impression to a mouldy mirror, a dirty window, or a dusty table. The last thing you want is to be penalised for the minor things – that can be avoided – when your house has so much to offer.
A sparkling house not only looks more visually appealing but also assures potential buyers of your dedication in taking care of your house all this while. If you lack time, you can consider engaging an external cleaning service to get it done. While this is no replacement for a gut job if your property suffers from chronic issues like mildew and mold, a good clean-up can avoid a misunderstanding about the condition of your property.
This is a good time to consider fixing any obvious cracks and perhaps even freshening walls with a coat of paint. Any peeling wall is likely to create an impression that your house is very old. If the work involved is too time-consuming or tedious, consider being upfront about it and inform your potential buyers to build trust.
#4 Make Use of Natural Lighting To Photograph Or Film
Keep all windows open to stream natural light into your house. If there are certain spots that seem dim, you may want to set up some ring lights or lamps with soft lighting (as close to natural sunlight as possible) to improve the brightness. Avoid switching on your ceiling lights or using any overhead light, as it will cast shadows and affect the quality of the video.
It is best to take any photograph or video of your house during the ‘golden hour’, 7.00-8:00AM or 6:00-7:00PM. If you are planning to arrange a live virtual tour of your house, you may want to do it before noon or late evening when the sunlight is less harsh. A nicely lit-up house is visually appealing and gives a more accurate representation of how the interior looks.
Good Photos And Videos Can Make Or Break An Online Property Viewing
All the preparation to stage your house is to present the best impression to potential buyers who are viewing your property through good photos and videos. This means good photography and filming are as important as the physical space.
Take reference from the professionals from property listing sites, as taking photos for property views is different from taking interior photos for a magazine. Observe the angle, composition and details of a great property photograph. Potential buyers want to have a macro view of the overall layout and the size of your room is rather than just looking at specific furniture.
Staging your house strategically helps you to attract a larger pool of potential buyers. In a red-hot property market where there are more buyers than sellers, this may not matter as much. However, in a time when there are few buyers, home-staging can make your property listing stand out from the many sellers.
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