You Get 7 Seconds To Hook A Buyer’s Attention Online

you get 7 seconds to hook a buyers attention online home staging

Microsoft did a recent study that shows humans now have attention spans shorter than a goldfish (goldfish 9/humans 6-8)

People prefer fast food delivery, videos in less than two minutes, a good laugh in 140 characters or less, and prefer articles in bulleted format.

What does that mean when selling your home? You have less time to engage a prospect’s curiosity.  So, saddle up cowboys and cowgirls, you get 7 seconds to hook a buyers attention online, try the use of home staging bait to hook those home buyers.

Home buyers are uber-connected online and 9 out of 10 home buyers use the internet as one of their primary home resources, and 52 percent of those shoppers start fishing online.

I usually tell my clients that home staging is an essential and irreplaceable marketing tool for marketing a home on the internet and their home is the bait that captures a buyer’s attention. 70% of home shoppers use YouTube alone, to tour houses for sale. Video and virtual tours are popular for marketing a home for sale and with a staged home, you can create targeted merchandising strategies to attract specific buyer groups.

36% of new home buyers use mobile and TV simultaneously, home staging techniques assist buyers as they skim a website during the first moments of their visit in order to assess whether they have what they are looking for. If a home for sale passes and piques their interest during their initial skimming, they are more likely to explore longer, more thoroughly and make a call to a real estate professional. Meanwhile, if a home for sale doesn’t capture a user’s attention  they are likely to leave within the first moments of their visit

Online research of homes for sale happen at work, at home, at restaurants, while waiting in line, and while with family and friends, providing the opportunity for input and many eyes on a home for sale.  Staged homes gain buyer confidence by creatively marketing a home to minimize weaknesses, creating dream homes that buyers fall in love with and boost the professional perceptions of the real estate pro marketing the home.

Whether home buyers are purchasing a home of their own, want a larger home, job-related move, changes in family status,  affordability, desire proximity to family/friends/relatives, want a better location, retire or downsize, home staging has the advantage of outshining the competition.  A home staging professional has their pulse on market trends that benefit spaces to attract consumer buyers across multiple market segments.

First-time buyers, new and existing home buyers and senior shoppers all turn to the web while researching homes to buy.  The good or bad online experiences increasingly influence their home buying decisions.  

Home buyers rely on real estate pros and open houses to bring their online searches and dream homes into reality.  Yes, even in a hot seller’s market, sellers who stage their home hold more cards in their hand and put more money in their pockets faster than other homes in the same price range that have not properly prepared their home for sale.

Do the homes that you market online capture a buyer’s interest?  The marketing that you do has a lot of work to do in a short amount of time.  Home staging will leverage your position against competing properties, new home sales and simplifying the home shopping experience by winning a customer’s attention and once again, remove distractions and unworthy elements to view.

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing on Twitter or Facebook. Happy home selling!-Johanna

How To Engage and Delight Buyers 5 Free Tips

How To Engage and Delight Buyers 5 Free Tips

We all know that the Real Estate Market is hot in Colorado, in February there were only 3,878 units of single family homes and condos on the market. The home down the street had multiple offers, the neighbors sold their home for $10,000 more than listed for, and it was under contract in less than 48 hours. Yet other homes may sit on the market with no buyer interest.

What’s up with that?

So, here’s the low-down on How To Engage and Delight Buyers 5 Free Tips that home sellers should know prior to putting that “for sale” sign in your front yard.

#1 We can sell no matter what

If a home is priced too high, even in a seller’s market, you run the risk of the listing sitting on the market unsold, even in a hot seller’s market.

Pricing is just one of many possible reasons a home may not have sold.

#2 Any home improvements that I make will raise the sales price

Too many improvements or sometimes over-improvements may be a waste of money.  Style and taste are a matter of personal opinion and might not appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest impact.  Simple things like sprucing up the kitchen or just updating tired appliances, instead of remodeling.  It could be as simple as rearranging furniture into a pleasing seating arrangement that capitalizes on architectural attributes, hanging artwork properly, or a bit of front-yard landscaping, (to boost curb appeal).  Sometimes but not always, it’s the simple things that make a big difference.

#3  I can sell my house “as is” buyers can do what they want with it

You may think that your house is market ready, but when it’s all said and done you may be overlooking necessary changes that could boost your bottom line and the marketing appeal.  Knowing what home improvement (if any) that will get you the best return on investment, along with properly marketing your home to appeal to prospective buyers is key.

There are very few folks who have the imagination to see anything beyond what’s in front of them. It takes a lot of mental energy for a buyer to visualize how to fix up a home “ more often than not they don’t want to be bothered, or don’t have the natural abilities, instincts, or extra cash to get a home in the shape they desire to live in, so they move on.  It’s only good marketing to show buyers value when they are looking for a home to purchase.

#4  I can use the camera on my phone for the listing photos

You’ve heard the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, right?  You only have but moments to capture a buyer’s attention when they are previewing a home online.  The photos that you present are like the lure that snags a fish.  The photos that appear online are the driving force to capturing buyers to come and view a home in person.  What you save money for great photos won’t amount to anything, if you don’t sell your home.

Oh and don’t forget… you want the pictures of your home for sale to emotionally resonate (oohs and wows), it’s that feeling you get when you walk into a model home.

Compare that instead to the dull and boring sameness found in the bulk of suburban developments.

Not every home for sale can be a model home, yet every design should be an attempt to stir the senses.

#5   Minor repairs can wait until later.

The truth of the matter is that the minor repairs make your home for sale more marketable, it allows you to maximize your return on investment (or minimize potential loss) when you sell.

Home buyers prefer an inviting home move-in ready home to buy.  Buyers who are willing to take on the repairs after moving in automatically subtract the cost of needed fix-ups from the price they offer (lower offers). You save nothing by putting off these items, and you may likely slow the sale of your home.

Imagine you use these tips and few home staging strategies for a better rate of return when you’re getting ready to sell your home. You know it works, you have seen it on HGTV in home shows like Designed To Sell and the National Association of Realtors highly recommends home sellers stage their homes prior to pictures.  you get your first enthusiastic, home buyer who is delighted to pay top dollar. You now have new money in the bank.

What would that mean?

Would you be more confident in your abilities or that of a home staging pro to help with all the small details?

Would you be more motivated to earn more and use it to pay off debt, increase your savings, or take an extravagant vacation or even buy a bigger house?  

Remember, home staging is always less than you first price reduction.  Don’t hesitate to call me for a no obligation, free quote.

2015 Home Staging Survey

In January the 2015 Home Staging Survey was published by the National Association of Realtors.  One of the findings was that living rooms are one of the most important rooms to stage in vacant or owner occupied homes for sale.  Grey is the color trending this year 2016, so the furniture I selected for this vacant property was perfect for marketing.

Buyers are better able to visualize room size, furniture placement and imagine how a space could be used.  The three marketing photos below show a lifestyle image and captures the emotions of buyers.

2015 home staging survey

81% of Realtors representing home buyers say, “taking the extra step to stage a home can make a difference in how a buyer values it and the price a seller might get for it.”

2015 home staging survey

Hopefully, everyone knows that at a minimum, cleaning, de-cluttering and making repairs will help prospective buyers better visualize themselves in the home, and often increases the home’s value for buyer and seller.

2015 home staging survey

It is important to initially capture a buyers attention in the marketing photos, which in turn takes them off line to make an appointment to preview the home.  The use of staging is a marketing tool that savvy sellers and Realtors use to show the property in its best light.

 

Home Stage the Exterior

Should spring be just around the corner and you are getting ready to sell your home there are a few tasks for getting your yard into shape prior to home buyer visits.

By taking care to clean up your outside yard areas you expand your living space for outdoor play and entertaining of family and friends. Painting a picture of lifestyle benefits of wining and dining boosts a properties marketing appeal and with that the sales price.

Transcend the walls of your home to show your outdoor sitting areas where buyers can imagine taking a break from a busy schedule that is just steps outside the door.

Take a critical look at your yard around you, then get to work! Here is a list to get you started:

  • Remove burlap from trees and shrubs as the weather warms.
  • Remove winter killed dead or damaged branches
  • Prune away winter-killed branches to make room for new growth.
  • Cut back and divide spent perennials to 4-5 inches
  • Cut back ornamental grasses to a height of 2-3 inches
  • Thin crowded beds of daylilies or iris
  • Cut back rose canes that have winter kill to 1 inch below blacked are.
  • pull up old annuals
  • Clean around plants by raking up fallen leaves and dead foliage
  • Prep damaged grass areas for reseeding
  • Sweep hardscaped patio areas
  • Remove damaged pickets or fencing and paint peeling pickets
  • Clean up the bbq or reposition from view

Home staging shouldn’t be confined just to indoors. Home stage the exterior by cleaning up the exterior of your home it extends the feeling home to your exterior spaces. Cooking, relaxing or just hanging out reflects lifestyle benefits that home buyers enjoy, work to capture that feeling of home outside.

Stone Veneer

 

I have been talking a lot about return on investment.  Curb appeal is one of those returns that sells about 50% of homes for sale.  With that said I’m going to give you the skinny about stone veneer because the return on investment is a 92.2% return on investment and can make HUGE curb appeal impact.

Not only does stone veneer look super it also resists weather conditions in multiple climates, and keeps its original look.  I have ugly concrete block around the foundation of my own home and would make my home look a whole lot better.  I understand that stone veneer can be installed easily and relatively quickly, so who knows maybe I’ll have a summer project.

There are a few types of siding when deciding on what to use.  Solid stone siding is heavy and installation is similar to putting together a puzzle.  Stone veneer siding is stamped and stained concrete manufactured to look like real stone that interlocks.  Manufactured stone is manufactured individually and looks like actual rock or clad stone that looks like brick.

Another option is foam siding that imitates actual stone, but it’s light weight, covers a large area and an entire corner of a house can be done in one day.  I’m short on patience and the muscle for the other products so this one might be the way to go for my ugly foundation.

 

After doing my homework I found that some of these products can even be used around fireplaces.  I love this product, there is nothing like the feel of a stone fireplace for that homey feeling with cozy nights, cuddled up in front of a blazing hearth.  This goes to the top of my list for fireplace updates, oh yeah!

Sorry for digressing.  Let’s go back outdoors…if you are looking for a cost to install natural Stone Veneer for a basic 125 square feet project in zip code 47474, the cost to install averages $9.26 – $13.44 per square foot* – but costs in your area will vary.

 

 

 

 

Refinishing Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floor refinishing 1

Recently at a home staging consultation for a mid range priced home going on the market for sale, recommendations to the main level of a home were made for hardwood floor refinishing for a floor that had seen better days.

I had to base the hardwood flooring refinishing in the context of sales price, condition of the home, competing properties and what home buyers would find desirable. Homebuyers and people with allergies across the United States want hardwood floors. Making a recommendation for a hardware flooring update made sense for the home seller and statistics showed a 101% return on investment.

Hardwood floors add value to a home, if the hardwood floor is looking a little worse for the wear, sanding and refinishing the hardwood flooring is the first consideration to get your investment back when selling.Hardwood flooring refinishing

Refinishing hardwood flooring is not that expensive and can completely change the look of a home with the option of changing color. Lighter color will make a space look open, light, bright, airy and informal. Darker refinished hardwood floors look more formal, sophisticated and dramatic. The majority of people prefer a forgiving satin finish that obscures scratches more than a semi gloss finish. A

Stained hardwood can usually be fixed if you hire a professional and replace stained sections by weaving new hardwood into the existing flooring, and then refinishing. No one will ever even notice the new pieces of hardwood, it will blend seamlessly.

Hardwood flooring refinishing carpet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lucky for you if you have hardwood hidden beneath your carpet, it’s like finding a hidden treasure. Rip up the carpet and refinish hardwood floors and you will improve the value of your home by making it more desirable to the maximum number of home buyers.

In another post The Cost of Home Staging Is Always Less Than the First Price reduction discusses the fact of not taking steps to stage your home, not refinishing hardwood floors will make buyers assume that you don’t take good care of your home, and will more likely make a price reduction accordingly.

Front Entry First Impression

Front entry first impressions

Image courtesy the Inspiredroom.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Front entry first impression, Imagine you are pulling up with your car to a home that you are considering to purchase.  You can’t help but notice the front entry your first impression of the home.  What first impressions do you notice?  Is the door dented and dinged, paint chipping, hardware tarnished or dated?

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Carpet Replacement When Selling A Home

Carpet replacement when selling a home

Image Courtesy Shaw Floors

Replacing old, dated, stained and thread bare carpet helps to sell homes faster.  Carpet replacement when selling a home offers a104% return on investment, flooring helps the perceived value of a home.

When most homebuyers are tour properties for sale they consider the current condition, anticipated life, anticipated repairs, the cost of maintenance, And holy smokes if the carpet is in poor repair how much it will cost to replace.

What home buyers see underfoot from the color, style and comfort level color will impact the affects the perceived  quality of life.  Don’t let those floors get off easy, put them to work for you in helping home buyers fall I lovewith your house so it can sell faster and for more money.

Carpeting will benefit a home by reducing ten times the acoustical airborne noise, texture and color will add beauty, soften a rooms appearance, frame furniture by making it look my distintictive.  If a warm cozy atmosphere is what what you look to provide then carpet has the ability to mKe a comfortable environment for the home.

Carpet colors of 2015 are gray and taupe neutral colors.  They make excellent backdrops for home furnishings and are versatile and safe when wanting to appeal to a broad range of homebuyers.  Shaw floor color forecast for 2015 is River Themes Taupe, think London Fog raincoat and you are on the right track.

Textures and pattern will be in the organic form of leaves, trellises, or flowers, shapes that coordinate easily with patterns in other furnishings.

This year when you are thinking of Carpet Replacement When Selling A Home, think in terms of tantalizing tootsies with the soft comfort of carpet.