As we navigate through COVID, houses are still being listed every day here in Westchester County. Offers are being made, and deals are being closed. More cumbersome, and in understandably smaller numbers. But it’s happening because people want to get on with their lives.
There’s never been a time where your listing will be more visible; never a better time to prepare your listing to be it’s market-ready best. So-from the archives, but updated for life during COVID…..
Home staging has been sensationalized in the media, but ask any agent. Properties that look their best and are priced right are the ones that get the most traffic, and the best offers, most quickly. This was true pre-COVID, and will probably be true forever.
It’s my counsel to let these three numbers govern all my clients’ decisions:
If you haven’t sold in a while its shocking to be told your home-and someone elses’ large investment-will be evaluated in mere moments on a 3″ phone screen…but its the truth.
Listing photos have been the first viewing since we had the internet. Nothing was more instrumental in getting people to the property.
Pre-COVID, You KNEW this to be true as you compared your listing to others, or searched for a new property yourself. In 5 seconds you knew to keep scrolling through or to swipe left. Now, as we navigate this time of COVID their importance has only grown.
At this writing here in New York professional real estate photography and video services are not deemed an essential service, and as such are only allowed to operate if they receive approval from NYS’ Empire State Development. Read more about essential services, clarifications, and how to apply for essential service status approval here. And for agents, brokers, and homeowners tasked with taking listing photos, read more about how to best style your photos here.
We’ve all heard ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Have you ever known it not to be true? Like first dates or job interviews, people may stick around longer but will decide if you (or your house) merit further consideration that first minute.
The property exterior will always be the first marker. For listing photos you take now, and for showings in a post-COVID world, add the main and expected rooms to VIP status. Meaning: *IF* you need to make hard choices, front load your efforts. Am less concerned about 5th BR or basement than expected rooms buyers see first.
You have the time now, take a hard look:
- Is the house well-lit? Do all lights work? Do types, wattages, and bulb colors match?
- Is the property neat, and well-maintained? Grass trimmed, beds weeded and edged, walkways clear, masonry power-washed, and in good repair?
- Remove dead or dying plants/bushes, prune back landscaping as needed
- Wash windows, clean gutters. Now is the time to power-wash any grime or green stuff that’s accumulated on your house, fences, deck/patio.
- Plant color in pots and beds, and to punctuate driveways and walkways
- Unclutter your entry/entry closet. Lighten up any clothes hooks or closets. Most jackets and shoes should be in BR closets. No coat trees, or visible shoe trays.
- Are the expected rooms-LR, DR, Kitchen, MBR, and Family Room-cleared out and well-lit? Are the colors/decor current? Will buyers see your space, or be distracted by your stuff?
As a new seller, you get a gift. It’s the first 30 days on the market. Your listing is new and fresh, everyone wants to see it first. After 30 days, not so much. New = better, old is, well, old.
Buyers have tons of information at their fingertips, and probably have a buyer agent too. Having your Westchester County property priced right from Day One is key.
Two reasons to give it your all that first 30 days:
- Buyers are a nervous bunch. Often they’ll assume older listings have problems or are over-priced, and will move on.
- Quicker sale= lower carrying costs while avoiding downward spiral of price reductions to keep generating interest
Preparing your property for sale should revolve around practical and logical decisions that make sense to you. Taking the time to get your property to its market-ready best delivers real results. And when you’re pointed in the right direction you’ll be amazed at all the simple, free to very inexpensive things you can easily do on your own.
The Refreshed Home has always offered E-consults, but now as we navigate COVID mandates this is exclusively how we’re working. An internet connection and a laptop or mobile device lets us connect in real-time and get uber-specific about how you can prep your property. Questions/etc-contact me here.