How Making A Good First Impression Is Changing For Sellers

Home sellers used to count on curb appeal to make a good first impression on potential buyers. Now, with 80 percent of homebuyers starting their house hunt online, a home's "pix appeal," or how good it looks in photos posted on the Internet, is taking over as the top way to impress buyers straight off the bat.

So how do you make a good impression with your real estate photos? If you're selling through an agent, find out who will be photographing your home. Some agents, especially those representing pricier properties, opt to hire professional photographers to get the best shots possible, while others choose to take photos themselves.  We hire a professional for all our pics.   But there are some things you, as the seller can do to get your house ? ready. 

GENERAL - Tips for all areas in the home:
✔️ Thoroughly clean whole house (vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean
countertops, clean windows)
✔️ Turn all overhead lights and lamps ON
✔️ Replace all burned out light bulbs
✔️ Use bulbs of the same temperature (ALL incandescent or ALL compact
✔️ Turn all ceiling fans OFF
✔️ Turn all TVs OFF
✔️ Turn all computer screens OFF
✔️ Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light
✔️ Remove personal photographs (or replace with general landscape/object photographs)
✔️ Make all beds
✔️ Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring
✔️ Place all shoes/jackets in closets

FRONT EXTERIOR - Online "curb appeal":
✔️ Close garage doors
✔️ Remove cars from driveway and front of home
✔️ Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves)
✔️ Remove empty planters
✔️ Use broom to remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames
✔️ Remove visible water hoses
✔️ Remove toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.

BACK YARD - the back yard should be an oasis to relax:
✔️ Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions
✔️ Pillows/cushions should be fresh, not faded
✔️ Clear out kid's toys, balls, frisbees, etc.
✔️ Clean pool
✔️ Remove pool vacuum/cleaner hose
✔️ Hide pool cleaning supplies
✔️ Turn on pool fountains/water features
✔️ Remove visible water hoses
✔️ Remove trash cans

KITCHEN - Sometimes the focal point, the kitchen deserves attention to detail:
✔️ Clear countertops completely. No knife blocks, baking supplies, mail, etc.
✔️ Leave out max of one small appliance (ex. coffee maker)
✔️ Clear outside of refrigerator of magnets, papers, photos, etc.
✔️ Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet
✔️ Remove dishes from sink, place in dishwasher

DINING ROOM / TABLE - allow buyers to imagine a nice family meal:
✔️ Clear table, dust and polish the table top
✔️ Use decorative place setting if available
✔️ Feature one center piece such as a bouquet of flowers
✔️ Straighten all chairs and space them evenly
✔️ Remove child seats/booster chairs

LIVING / FAMILY ROOM - the space to enjoy conversation and spend quality time with family:
✔️ Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.
✔️ De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth (no more than 5 items, including art)
✔️ Clean interior of fireplace and re-paint if needed
✔️ Fluff and arrange furniture pillows
✔️ Remove kid's toys

BEDROOMS - Rest for you and guests: 
MASTER BEDROOM - a good nights rest recharges the body and mind:
✔️ Make bed, including decorative pillows/shams if available
✔️ Press bed linens and bed skirts
✔️ Clear nightstands of all personal items
✔️ Store away phone/tablet charging cables
✔️ Remove all clutter from top of dressers
✔️ Remove family photos from walls
✔️ Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos

KID/GUEST BEDROOM - don’t forget about guest bedrooms:
✔️ Remove personalized names from walls
✔️ Remove wall stickers/posters
✔️ Remove diaper genies
✔️ Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos

BATHROOMS - to be spa-like, the bathroom must be clear of all personal items:
✔️ Clear countertops completely. No soap, toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, etc.
✔️ Put toilet seats down
✔️ Close closet doors
✔️ Remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc. from showers and tubs
✔️ Remove dirty towels - leave out only new, unused towels
✔️ Remove floor mats

PETS - pets are loving, but their presence should be minimized:
✔️ Place food and water bowls in pantry or closet
✔️ Place pet beds/toys in pantry or closet
✔️ Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair
✔️ Contain pets in hidden crate or outside
✔️ Clear back yard of pet waste and toys