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10 tips before you list (and sell) your house online

…about to sell your property. But consider this: is your house photogenic enough to attract potential buyers?

Listing a house online is as simple as snapping a photograph and uploading the details to an online property classifieds. But a badly listed house, will turn away potential buyers, right from the start. And featured at the top of every listing, is the picture which speaks a 1000 words.

I recall a saying I once heard, that went something like this: “The eye feasts before the mouth eats.” What this effectively means, is that the sight of beautifully arranged dish is sure to make you drool. It’s the appetizer!

So here are 10 easy tips to checklist, that should garner more hits and shares on your property listing, thereby increasing the amount of potential buyers, and drooling agents and brokers. And attracting interested walk-ins

For those lazy readers, you can scroll straight down to snap-grab your checklist.

1. Brighten up the place

Paint! White-wash! You see, as a potential buyer looks at your house, the first thing that should ideally enter his mind is a swatch of wonderful memories. By having a dark and gloomy looking house, or a dirty, greasy looking wall, with scribbles running along the corridor, and spider webs offline, you’re inviting thoughts of a badly maintained, and run-down home. That’s one sure-fire way to turn off a potential homebuyer.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t colour your place in a darker shade. But if you do, do make sure that you add adequate highlights, like lighter doors and windows, and inside, brighter lights, and a lighter floor.

Smaller rooms will probably look bigger with a lighter shade.

2. Less is more (minimalististic!)

lovely couch, cushions, minimalism

Almost every piece of furniture is a unique work of art. You don’t believe me, then look at the first piece of furniture that’s besides you, and think of how that piece was designed, how it was crafted. Isolate that piece of furniture in your head, and imagine a spotlight on it. You’ll appreciate it more.

But now what happens when you crowd a hall, or a room with so many of these pieces of art?

Only when you isolated that piece of furniture in your head could you imagine the beauty of it. Similarly, you want to highlight that furniture, so ensure that there’s adequate spacing in your rooms. This will bring out the beauty into a home.

It’s minimalism, not minimalististic. That’s overcrowding, which is why you most probably didn’t catch that “mistake” up there in the title. But if you did catch that mitsake, you’re good. Very good.

3. Pick up that broom!

There’s nothing like a dirty carpet, or a sandy and dusty floor, to give the impression of a unkempt home. Don’t give that impression!

Make it a habit to sweep that dirty floor at least once a day. Specially when you’re photographing the place, the flooring is a detail that could easily show up in the pictures.

Not just the flooring, the entire home needs to be well kept, and tidied up, or you’re only asking buyers to turn away.

And in case you missed it, it’s mistake, not mitsake. Up there.

4. Dress up those windows

You know, there’s a reason curtains and blinds were invented.

curtains, blinds

Rather than keeping your windows dull and bare, it’s time to grab a couple of curtains and host them alongside your windows. Blinds look great as well, so keep that in mind.

However, not just any type of blinds or curtains will do!

If your room is small, you sure don’t want curtain rails that jut out. If they do, your room’s going to look way smaller and congested.

Even the shade of the curtains matter. See if you’ve got a terrific looking garden out side those windows, you want to add that sensation of euphoria to whoever sees outside the windows.

So when selecting curtains as trimmings beside your windows, you’ve got to ensure that they don’t steal the view of the outside. In other words, make sure that the curtains add effect, to the beautiful room, but do let the garden outside shine in.

5. Hose down those windows

When was the last time you swept, or had that floor swept? If it never was, then let’s not imagine what your windows must look like.

There’s nothing like a spray of water across your windows to remove the dust and grime, and make them shine. Especially if you’re by the roadside, or the sea.

As for the photograph you take afterwards, those windows are sure to pop out.

So get started on hosing down those windows, and giving them the well deserved wash.

6. Lights!

Don’t even think about snapping a dull and boring picture, and uploading it on to a classifieds website. You’re looking for potential buyers, not demolition teams. The picture of the house, is extremely important to a buyer, or an agent/broker, because first impressions, do matter.

Architecture

The right lighting needs to brighten up the place, and complement the paint on the wall. You don’t have to bring in construction lights for the shots, but adequate mood lighting in all the right places, should transform the place from basic to elegantly luxurious. Going in for a darker indoor theme? Try a warm-white lighting.

7. A glimmering fairy-tale garden

A deserted, exhausted looking garden will certainly not help. Especially in bringing a lively mood to the environment.

Make it a habit to water those plants, and add floral variety across the landscape. At least hire a gardener or landscape specialists who’ll transform the place into a place of relaxation.

man watering garden plants

A bad garden can have a negative effect on visitors and potential buyers. Additionally, the greenery will surely compliment the house.

If you’re in an urban setting, with high-rises all around, in the midst of that concrete jungle, a little piece of greenery can go a long way.

apartment garden, greenery, balcony plants,

8. Take a (drooling) GOOD picture

Once sometime back, I wanted to put a used smartphone up for sale. So I had this DSLR camera, and a bit of white painted or vinyled wood (don’t remember which) for the background.

So I snap the pictures, upload them to ikman, only to have them reject the ad, over and over again. They never accepted that picture to be a used smartphone.

A good picture, can tell a great story.

Today’s latest smartphones will probably be good enough. (The picture above, was shot with a smartphone.) However, you can also rent out a DSLR camera for a day or two at a fantastic rate.

But what’s also important, is the angle and lighting of the shot. So if you’re not an expert with the camera, make sure you take more than a few shots, from a hundred different angles, and a suitable variety of adequate mood lighting. Pick out the best ones afterwards.

9. The picture on the wall – The artistic touch

When you enter an art gallery, you’ll see blank single-coloured walls, featuring a single painting or spaced out paintings. See, minimalism adds a sensational depth by calling your attention to only that which truly matters. However the background adds to this effect in your subconscious.

So even in your home, add effect, by scouring art galleries for that just right abstract piece, and feature them on the wall in your living room, bedroom, home-office, wherever you see a stretch of blank dull wall.

artistic picture, painting on the wall

And last, but not least…

10. The smelly, or the perfumery

When you walk into a home, allow the senses to breathe in the atmosphere and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you.

Buy hey, what happens if a potential buyer walks in, only to be met with a whiff of smelly whatever. That is one major component of losing a good deal.

And similarly, don’t go about the house emptying bottles of perfume. Because like taste, smell is subjective and unique to each person.

Pink tulips, White Vase, Fresh

Make sure the entire place is well aired, and the garden watered, and allow for the fresh scent of flowers to waft their way in.

A few sprinkles of scent could delightfully enhance the effect however, but don’t overdo it.

…and here’s your quick checklist

  1. Brighten up the place – Paint the house over inside and out. A lighter shade can make a small room look much bigger.
  2. Less is more (minimalististic!). Spacing matters. Feature furniture, don’t crowd them in. It’ll make it easier to maintain a home.
  3. Pick up that broom! Tidy up the place, you’re not in a zoo to live like a monkey. (Although they’re not as untidy as you.)
  4. Dress up those windows. Complement the windows and walls with curtains.
  5. Hose down those windows. They always could do with a regular cleanup.
  6. Lights! Don’t overdo it, but adequate mood light will go a long way. Especially in pictures.
  7. A glimmering fairy-tale garden. Water the garden regularly, and/or hire a landscaping company or gardener to transform the place into a little bit of paradise.
  8. Take a (drooling) GOOD picture. Use a good camera (preferably a DSLR) because first impressions count on your online listing.
  9. The picture on the wall – The artistic touch. Bare clean looking walls, will be a great spot to tell a story with a singular artistic oil painting.
  10. The smelly, or the perfumery. Tidy yes. But keep the smells out. Make sure you don’t store garbage in the kitchens. And don’t go about perfuming the entire place. Let in the breeze. And let the fragrant flowers do the talking.

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