How To Increase Your Home’s “Screen Appeal”

COVID 19 home staging

If you were counting on bustling, crowded open houses (or any open houses, for that matter) to sell your Waterloo Region home right now, you’ve probably been rethinking your strategy.

Nearly the whole country is following public health orders to stay at home through April or May, traditionally the prime selling season. As a result, online for-sale listings have taken on more importance than ever, and it all starts with increasing your home’s ‘screen appeal’.

Stage your Space

Home staging has long been something that Realtors have encouraged, but when the first impressions of your home buyers will get will be online – and those may be the only impressions they get for a while, it’s even more important.

The first step in staging your home is aggressive decluttering. Put away all the kids’ and pets’ toys, store or recycle loose magazines and box up your picture frames and mementos for now.

Contrary to what you may have sometimes read, you don’t want to erase all the personality from your home, but you do want it to feel neutral so potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Plus, the less random stuff on display, the more spacious your rooms will look.

Next, consider the layout. You may love how your rooms are arranged, but your furniture placement might not maximize space on screen. Take some test photos to see if the current layout photographs well.

If you or your Realtor – are planning on creating a recorded or live video tour, do a video chat walkthrough with a friend and see if you have a clear path between furniture pieces. You definitely want to avoid tripping over an ottoman while doing a live tour.

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Finally, clean and dust every surface in sight, and replace all the lightbulbs so that rooms are as bright as they can be — even the most beautiful spaces won’t translate well on camera if they’re too dark.

Consider Virtual Staging

If your current Waterloo Region home for sale is empty, you have a few options:

  • You can leave it empty. (But staged homes tend to sell faster.)
  • You can buy some basic furniture, if you’re able to have it safely delivered to your home. You just need a few key pieces to show the scale of a room — a couch, coffee table and rug establish a living room’s size, for instance. You can always resell or donate the pieces to charity later if you don’t want to keep them.
  • You could try virtual staging, which digitally adds furnishings to your photographed space. It’s come a long way and can make a home look very attractive. There are many online services as well as DIY apps to choose from.

Work with a Real Estate Agent That Knows Their Tech

Video showcases and real estate photography can sell homes, it’s being proved right now. But only if it’s good.

Good photography and great video showcases are not easy to stage, and they could not be called cheap. But, as any good Waterloo Region real estate broker understands the value of them, invests in them on your behalf and knows how to maximize showcasing them once they are done. These are the kinds of real estate agents you need to work with, especially right now.

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