7 tips to make your home picture-perfect for a sale–PLUS the 8 home upgrades people want most

Today, good pictures are essential to selling a home. Most buyers do their home searches online, where they see slide shows and virtual tours with soundtracks. National Association of Realtors research revealed 98% of buyers looking for a home online said photos were among the most useful features of real estate websites.
High quality photos make your home look more spacious and attractive and they create that important first impression. Great pictures get people to say, “Wow, we HAVE to see this house!” Here are some tips to get a picture-perfect listing:
1. Evaluate agents by their listing pictures. When picking a listing broker, look at the property photos on their current listings.
2. Did they use compelling shots? Do the photos make you want to visit the home? Do they look like they’re from a magazine? Those are the kind of pictures that appeal to prospective buyers.
3. Did they post the right number of shots? How many photos should the agent post with a listing? Two or three aren’t enough, but 30 are too many.
4. Did they put the pictures in the best sequence? The first photos are the most important. They should include a front shot, main living area, kitchen, master bedroom and bath, plus one more attractive feature.
5. Insist the broker use a professional. Research shows listings with home photos taken by professionals have about 61% more views than listings photographed by amateurs. And that’s across all price tiers! Ask the agent for the photographer’s credentials.
6. Suggest some views. Give the photographer a list of shots to consider. Include favorite views outside and in.
7. Be the final approval. Ask to review the photos before they’re posted and compare them to listings similar to yours. If substandard, ask for a reshoot with another photographer.
A recent survey of home magazine readers revealed the eight upgrades people want most:
1. Added storage space, walk-in closets and built-ins. Homeowners want smart spaces that maximize every square foot and help keep the home organized.
2. Separate laundry room. People want the convenience and practicality of a laundry room out of the basement and integrated into other home spaces to allow for more multitasking. It doesn’t even have to be that big.
3. Additional bedroom with its own bath. This could be for an older parent, a guest suite or a retreat for teens, but it needs to be nicely sized.
4. Casual dining spaces in or near the kitchen. People are looking for an extended kitchen/family room area with up to three or four places to gather, have a bite and multitask.
5. Family computing and work spaces. All family members need a place to park their electronics and have some fun or do some work. That space can be created by expanding an existing kitchen or family room, or by adding a whole new room.
6. Better bathrooms. This year baths are getting more attention than kitchens, as people look for more personalized features and nicer finishes.
7. Kitchens. Even though they now trail bathrooms in upgrade popularity, kitchens are still a focal point of many upgrade projects.
8. Outdoor living areas. People no longer want those huge outdoor kitchens and over-the-top fireplaces, just nicely sized spaces that create outdoor living areas with a connection to the home.
If you’d like to know about smart ways to fund these home improvements, or finance or refinance your home, please call or email us – we’re always here to help…. Have a great day! P.S.  Experts feel the housing market has stabilized and is now turning around in many areas. Prices are still very affordable and mortgage rates are lower than they’ve ever been. But it’s a good idea to get the financing process started early. So if you’re thinking about buying or refinancing, please call or email us now to talk about your situation.

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