You may never have heard of “screen appeal,” and that’s because it’s the term that has come to replace “curb appeal” as of 2020. Whereas “curb appeal” refers to a house’s aesthetic appeal as viewed from the street, “screen appeal” refers to how a house appears via online pictures or tours.
Of course, a house’s screen appeal covers more ground than curb appeal, as buyers are not limited to just the view from the curb; rather, a virtual tour puts the entire home on display, or at least the rooms you choose to showcase. While this broadened view may seem like it amps up the pressure, it should be viewed as an opportunity for buyers to get to know your house before they even step inside.
Brunswick Crossing has compiled six tips to optimize your home’s screen appeal:
Tip 1: Decluttering
You want viewers to focus on the space, not your stuff. Removing extra household items will help your house feel spacious. Take a critical look around. What might not seem cluttered to you may appear cluttered through the lens of a camera. This is true for every room in your house, including the kitchen, living room, and bedroom. Make sure that cabinets and drawers close correctly. Stow away extra appliances on counters. Clear away toys, pictures and other memorabilia. Here is a list to help you declutter the different spaces in your house.
Tip 2: Cleaning and repairing
Make your house sparkle! Remove dust and stains by wiping down all surfaces, including desks, dressers, and counters. Clear the mirrors and windows of any smudges or streaks. Vacuum, mop, and sweep the floors. Be sure to use appropriate cleaners when taking care of appliances. Keep on the lookout for cracked surfaces and broken appliances. Take a critical look around your house for holes, scuff marks and broken floor boards. Here is a list of methods to use when cleaning up around your house. You may also consider hiring a professional cleaning service to conduct a thorough and deep clean.
Tip 3: Repainting
Repainting your walls can be helpful when preparing to sell your home, but there are some best practices to use when deciding on an approach. But before take a roller to your walls, do a close inspection and touch up where needed. Pay attention to chipped paint and scratches. Gently sand down any cracked or flaking paint. Wash off grease stains with soap and water. Remove unnecessary hooks and nails.
Also before you pick up the brush, look into what colors you should paint your 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 paint colors. Instead, try to focus on warm neutral colors such as eggshell, light gray or white.
Now that you’ve prepped your walls and chosen colors, it's time to get painting! First, wait for dry weather. Humid or rainy days slow down the time it takes for paint to dry. Don’t be too frugal with rollers, brushes, and tape. High-quality tools will save you time when it comes to achieving good coverage and sealing out drips. Remove outlet covers and light switches. Also, paint from top to bottom. Here are more tips for painting your walls.
Tip 4: Lighting
Let your house be seen! Dark rooms can leave the wrong impression on potential buyers. So, let the light in! Turn on all the lights in the house, including ceiling lights, lamps, and even nightlights. Try to make your lighting throughout the house consistent. Check that all lightbulbs work and are the same color. Also, open all the blinds to let the natural light in. Consider the time of day you're filming your virtual tour. Lighting at dawn or dusk is softer and warmer whereas midday sun is brighter and cooler.
Tip 5: Staging
Staging your house is all about the finishing touches — something that is done after all the painting and cleaning is done. Staging is like applying makeup. It’s an art. In addition to all the steps above, you could stage your home by yourself. While we already mentioned that you should declutter your house, think about some of the little things you can leave around to make your home more inviting. Take it room by room. Add a plant and newspaper to your living room coffee table. Include small splashes of color to the bedroom with throw pillows and paintings. And, don’t forget to spruce up the outdoor spaces with cozy seating and tables. You should be aiming for the space between empty and lived in. Here are more tips for DIY staging.
You could also hire a professional to stage your home. According to Home Advisor, professional stagers typically cost between $500 to $2,000. An initial consultation could cost between $150 to $600. Then, stagers will charge monthly for rental furniture if necessary. That could cost between $500 to $600 a month. However, only rearranging and decluttering is less expensive. To find a professional stager, start with your real estate agency who may have business connections. You can also search through Yelp and social media channels for local companies.
Tip 6: Touring
No matter what kind of budget or equipment you have available, there are options to show off your home virtually. For low cost virtual tours, all you’ll need is your phone. You can host live tours via Zoom, Skype or FaceTime. Be sure to rehearse before giving a tour. There are also easy-to-use software, such as iStaging and My360, that require only a smartphone to create 3D and 360 degree footage of your home for little to no expense.
Another route is to hire a professional videographer or designer to showcase your home. Hiring a professional allows you to immediately set yourself apart from amateur video. Having the right lighting, equipment, voice over and edits can grab attention and create a more favorable impression of your home. Plus, hiring a professional allows you to be flexible in your creative approach to showcasing your home.
While preparing to sell your home, envision your new life in a Brunswick Crossing home. Check out our available models below: