Since more and more buyers are taking the plunge into homeownership sight unseen due to historically low inventory, it’s more important than ever to make your home stand out on a phone, tablet, or computer.  Because of this, screen appeal is the new curb appeal. Potential buyers are no longer limited to a curbside view of the homes that interest them. Instead, they’re able to access online photos, videos, virtual tours, and more. If you want to give potential buyers the opportunity to virtually step foot inside your Hampton Roads home, you’ve come to the right place! Below are five ways to enhance your home’s screen appeal.


1. Declutter and clean.
Look around your home. How much stuff do you have? Does your space feel cluttered? Before listing your home on the market, it’s essential to declutter and organize your belongings. Stow away extra appliances on your kitchen counters, hide family photos and other personal things, and donate items you’ve had for ages but never use. You don’t want a flashy centerpiece or a bold piece of artwork to distract potential buyers from the beautiful details of your home, such as the crown molding or backsplash. After you’ve finished decluttering, clean your home thoroughly. Wipe down surfaces, clean the mirrors and windows, sweep/vacuum/mop the floors, and dust wherever necessary. Your home will feel completely refreshed when you’re done. 


2. Paint.

Your home should ultimately be a blank canvas that allows potential buyers to imagine themselves living in your space. If your guest bathroom is an interesting shade of yellow that you never changed after moving in, pick a neutral shade and tackle that project ASAP. Light gray, cream, and white are great options. If you need to complete any touch-ups, do so before painting. This includes sanding down cracked or chipped paint and washing off stains with soap and water. 


3. Turn on the lights.

Dark rooms never do a home justice. Before listing photos are taken, open your blinds and turn on all the lights in your house. In addition, make sure your lighting is consistent. Are your lightbulbs cool or warm? It’s important that they all match. Lastly, the time of day you photograph your home or film a virtual tour matters. Right after sunrise or before sunset will give you soft, warm light. Midday will give you bright, cool light. If you’re wondering which time of day is best, that depends on the direction your property is facing. Ultimately, you want the sun behind you when photos are taken. This will give you images that are rich with color. 


4. Stage your home.

The primary goal of staging is to present your property in its best light. Sometimes this means rearranging your furniture, hiding certain items in a storage unit, or buying specific pieces to accent your space. Take the process room by room. Small items, such as artificial plants and flowers, throw pillows, blankets, and mirrors can make a huge difference in your space. If you live in coastal Virginia Beach, consider a driftwood coffee table, nautical blue fabrics, and rattan/wicker furniture. If you live in Colonial Williamsburg, consider area rugs, antique clocks, patchwork quilts, and pottery. 


5. Hire a professional photographer, or ask your agent for help. 

Your iPhone can take impressive photos for capturing day to day events, but if you want to enhance your home’s screen appeal as much as possible, use the Verity Group!  We always hire a professional real estate photographer for our listings. They’ll have the necessary equipment to take crisp, high quality photos that will stand out on the web. They’ll also know all the right angles that will show off your Hampton Roads home. When beneficial, we also use an Iguide program through Virtual Tidewater. The Iguide gives potential buyers a three dimensional dollhouse view that’s great for screen optimization!