Today, almost all home buyers begin their search online, and many of then continue home shopping online right up until that in-person visit before making an offer. As a seller, then, you have to make your home look good – no, irresistible – in online listings. To do that, you don’t have to be a technical wizard, but you do have to keep a few important principles firmly in mind. Let’s take a look, then, at 5 things you can do to make your Southern California house look better online.
1. Declutter and Deep Clean Everything
Whether you’re trying to make your Southern California house look better online or in an old-school flyer, you still need to begin by decluttering and cleaning. There’s just no way around it, so do a thorough job – if you want your house to look good in those online listing photos.
Industry pros suggest working from the most important room to the least important. So start with the kitchen and remove everything from the counters and organize all these items (if you have the room) neatly in the pantry and cabinets. Then scrub every kitchen surface you can get to. After completing the kitchen, move on to the living room, giving it a similar treatment. Then, once the living room is done, tackle all the other rooms in your home.
2. Stage Your House
The next step after decluttering and deep cleaning in every room is to stage your home in order to make your house look better online. If you’re hesitant to spend time and/or money on staging, keep in mind that staged homes sell quicker and at a better price than those that aren’t staged. In fact, staged homes often get offers up to 5% higher than unstaged homes.
And you don’t have to spend a ton of money on new furnishings for professional-looking staging. If your goal is to make you’re Southern California house look better online, you can use virtual staging. Contact your local agent to find out more about this effective digital technique. Just call (805) 257-5780.
3. Get Professional-Quality Listing Photos
Now we come the critical part of making your Southern California house look better online. And that is the listing photos. You need plenty of them, and they have to be professional quality.
Buyers can tell right off the difference between professional-quality photos and amateurish ones. And this distinction will hugely impact the effectiveness of your listing. If you choose not to hire a professional photographer to shoot the listing photos and opt to do it yourself, make sure to consider the following points:
- Mechanics and equipment – Will a tripod be better than freehand shots, for example?
- Angle – Do you have and know how to use a wide-angle lens?
- Lighting – Do you know how to maximize natural lighting?
- Details – Can you take shots that don’t include distractions like reflections in mirrors?
4. Sell the Neighborhood Too (Not Just the House)
Keep in mind that you aren’t just selling your Southern California house – you also have to sell the neighborhood. Making the neighborhood seem appealing is another way to make your Southern California house look better online.
Here are the two neighborhood points that experts advise emphasizing:
- Amenities and perks – “It’s all about location, location, location, so talk about your ’hood. Can you walk to public transportation? Are there outdoor amenities nearby like hiking trails, bike paths, or a community pool? How about the nightlife, restaurants, and shopping? Is this a safe, low-crime neighborhood?”
- Community – “Brag about your block if you love your neighbors. Tell potential buyers how great and friendly they are. If you’re on a quiet cul-de-sac that holds a block party once a year, let it be known. A great sense of community is a hot commodity.”
5. Point Out Upgrades and Green Features
All buyers perk up at the mention of upgrades, and most of them today are interested in green features. So a sure way to make your Southern California house look better online is to talk up the upgrades and green features in the listing description.
Talk about and emphasize any and all upgrades because “all of these updates allow buyers to keep more money in their pockets when it comes to budgeting for future repairs.” If you have “a new roof or electrical system, fresh carpet, converted and finished basements or attics, upgraded closets, replastered pools, and so on,” talk them up.
And the same goes for green and energy-saving features. “Green features are the rage these days — and for good reason. As utility bills soar, any eco-friendly upgrades are a welcome plus. Make sure you mention them in your listing. Solar panels on the roof,self-programming thermostats, additional insulation in attics and crawl spaces, and tankless water heaters all make your home a highly attractive, low-maintenance (and lower-cost) option.”
Hire a Local Agent to Know What’s Trending
A final important element in what it takes to make your Southern California house look better online is knowing what’s trending in local markets. If you want to sell a Southern California house, you have to have a good handle on what buyers in that market really want and craft your online listing accordingly (and with all the right keywords). And that’s why the assistance of an experienced local real estate agent is so critical. Find out today how our agents can help you stand out online and sell your house. Send us a message or give us a call at (805) 257-5780.