Condition is not Competitive

from: Top 5 Home Selling Mistakes

First impressions set the tone for everything else!

We want blue skies, sunshine and manicured yards in all of our exterior photos – its how maximum interest is generated.

Above is a great example of what I call “crisp” landscaping. Clean edges on landscape beds, fresh mulch or pinestraw, trees and shrubs trimmed, driveway and walks pressure-washed. On this house, the seller actually removed two crepe myrtles that were overgrown and crowding the entry way – that made a huge improvement both in the photos and in person walking up to the front door.

Exterior Facade

The goal with the exterior facade is to create a holistic feeling of welcome. That starts with weather, colors and textures. Our goal is always blue skies as a backdrop for daytime shots and we love the impact of twilight photos. When it comes to color combinations, subtle and monochromatic palettes have the broadest appeal which maximizes your buyer audience. Fresh paint and caulk, clean windows and a clean fresh entry doorway are crucial to creating a great first impression at showings.

Interior Decor

Spacious and Calm are typically the goal with interiors. I cannot over-emphasize the power of professional staging here.

Highlights Unique Features

Any special areas of the property need to be lit up and functional. The goal here is to differentiate both the lifestyle and the energy of your home to prospective buyers. They say a picture is worth 1000 words; I believe amenities in action tell a much more compelling story.

Deferred maintenance is a deal-killer

Signs of deferred maintenance are major warning signs for a home inspector. Obvious issues scream that a homeowner does not believe home maintenance is important – even if it is just cosmetic. Exterior trim is especially susceptible to wood rot at the base and corners. This photo example may be a bit extreme but it is a real scenario and touches on several bases:

  • Painted over old siding – the texture shows where previous paint peeled off
  • Wood rot in the trim – how far does that go??
  • Broken slats in the blinds – why not just replace those?
  • Raw wood exposed on the window sash – do it yourself job?
  • Unkept window box planter
  • Paint on the window glass from do-it-yourself paint job

Visual noise sours a showing experience

The photos shown here are of the same room. While the four different flooring materials are still there, paint and actual staging made a big difference in reducing the visual noise in this situation.

Too many colors, textures and materials create visual noise and ruin a showing experience. It introduces stress into a situation that needs to be relaxing if the showing is to go well.

  • Inconsistent light bulbs – they all need to be the same!
  • More than 2 flooring materials in main living areas (excluding baths).
  • Different paint colors in every room
  • Varying hardware finishes for doors, hinges, cabinet pulls and primary light fixtures.
  • Distinctive or edgy art pieces
  • Memorabilia and collectables
  • Furniture that is not in keeping with the price point of the house or an obvious mixture of inherited treasures.
  • Clutter and Cobwebs