You’ve probably heard that when selling a home, you need to work on and enhance curb appeal. And that’s true. But now there’s “screen appeal.” This refers to the way your home appears in photos, videos, and virtual tours. It is critical that you get it right because most home buyers begin their home search online, and you never get a second chance to make a great first impression. Read on, then, for 5 tips to help you improve the screen appeal of your Orlando home.
1. Declutter and Depersonalize
As always, preparing your Orlando home for sale begins with the basics – decluttering and depersonalizing to improve 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 fewer 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.”
You also need to depersonalize, which means putting away all those things that imprint your personality on the home, that mark it as clearly your home. “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.”
For assistance with best practices in depersonalizing, you can consult an Orlando agent at (407) 974-4565.
2. Repaint Walls
It’s always a good idea to repaint interior walls to improve both in-person appeal and screen appeal. But there are some best practices you need to observe, especially when it comes to choosing colors.
Before you ever pick up a brush or roller, industry pros say, you should carefully consider the colors you choose to paint the walls “because some may perform better than others when trying to sell your home. The idea is that your home should be a blank canvas so that potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. They will have a style of their own so it’s best for you not to make too many bold statements when deciding on paint colors. Instead, try to focus on warm neutral colors such as eggshell, light gray or white.”
Also, try to do the painting during dry weather. Humid weather and rainy days will slow down the paint’s drying process, which will mean delays in getting the crucial photos taken and videos made.
3. Stage It and Work on Curb Appeal
Staging is another important factor in creating great screen appeal. In fact, numerous agent surveys have that staged homes sell faster and for more than homes that haven’t been staged.
“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. . . . 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.”
But don’t forget curb appeal – it still matters a lot. Even for online listing photos and screen appeal, the front of your home is still typically the first thing potential buyers see. So be sure to work on all those things – landscaping, mowing, repainting/replacing the front door, and so on – that can enhance curb appeal.
4. Consider Virtual Staging
If you have old, worn furniture and don’t want to buy new or if you’ve already moved all your furniture out, you might consider virtual staging to improve screen appeal. “Through virtual staging, you can digitally add furnishings to a blank photo of your home and make it look more natural. There are online services and mobile apps that make virtual staging easy. Ask your agent for some recommendations.”
5. Take Test Photos and Do a Trial Walk-Through
Your best bet for listing photos and videos is likely a professional service. But before calling in the pros, take some test photos on your own to see how your staging and improvements actually translate on the screen. You certainly don’t want to pay for professional photography only to find out that you can’t use the photos.
A related thing you can do to ensure your home’s screen appeal is the best it can be is to do a trial walk-through. “If you plan on giving a video tour of your home, be sure to do a practice walk-through by video chatting with a friend or with your . . . real estate agent. . . . When you’re giving a video tour, [buyers are] only going to see what you show them. Make sure you’re highlighting your home’s best features. And keep the walkways clear! You don’t want to stumble or fall during your video tour.”
And Lean on Your Agent’s Expertise
Working closely with an Orlando agent can help you make sure you’ve done everything you can to improve your home’s screen appeal. Your agent will understand all the best practices and what will work best in the local market. So if your goal is to improve screen appeal for selling your Orlando home, contact us today at (407) 974-4565.