Seeing your home with a Buyer's eyes
One of the biggest challenges a home seller faces is seeing their home through a buyer’s eyes. Such a difference in perspective.
This Spring I am going to be pointing out some areas you may have a blind spot to. These are tips, easy to do tips, not tips disguised as home improvement projects. That is a whole different series. My goal is two-fold, give you some advice to help you sell your house quicker and for more money. Pretty good goal right? I also want our buyers to walk into homes that ARE good homes and not turn them down because of the feeling the house is giving off. I sound a little mystical there, but a house does give off a vibe when you walk in.
First up, let’s talk about lighting. Oh my.
All of us have heard turning our lights off will save money on our electric bill. But when you are selling your house it is the exact opposite. Having all the lights off will cost you money when you are selling.
Why you ask?
Nothing like opening a door to a home, standing in the dark foyer trying to find a light switch. Finally, locating it and nothing happens. Light bulb is out.
No light. Keep walking into the living room and the ceiling fan comes on but only two of the three bulbs work. Casting some weird shadows on the room.
Truthfully, I have never, ever, ever had a buyer say, “Jenny, I’m looking for a home that when I walk in is kinda dark and depressing.”
Never. And if they did say that, I would be a little wary of them. Just saying.
But we hear all the time from buyers how important natural light is to them. And every house looks better with light. Every house. Light makes a home feel warm and cheerful. I want that when I walk into my house, don’t you?
So, what you can you do?
1st Go from room to room and turn on the lights. Are the bulbs working? Make a list of the rooms with missing light bulbs. Don’t forget the closets.
2nd Choose ONE light bulb color and temp and use it throughout each room in the house. Nothing will mess us your professional photos like having something like this:
If you are wondering what kind of light bulb we recommend, “Warm White” bulbs are around 3000k and are ideal for home staging in nearly every interior room of the home. Warm white is more relaxing for the eyes and softens the skin tone and reduces imperfections.
Wattage matters too. Below are some suggestions I found on the GE Lighting Source site based on different areas of your home
- Overhead Light In The Hall Keep hallways brightly lit because they get little to no natural light. We suggest two or three 50 watt bulbs if there are multiple fixtures or a single fixture with multiple bulbs. For a single bulb fixture, try 80-100 watts.
- Recessed Lights Keep recessed lights around 60 watts to prevent from turning them into spotlights.
- 'Boob' Lamps This typical ceiling lamps (featuring a domed shade) often have more opaque covers, so we suggest using a 75 watt light. I feel like I needed to include a photo as I had no idea the real name of this type of light.
- Kitchen Kitchen lights should be bright because you are working with knives and other cooking materials. For dark kitchens and more opaque fixtures, try 100 watts. If you get a lot of natural light, try using a slightly dimmer 80 watt bulb.
- Bathroom Sconces Keep bathroom sconces around 60-80 watts (But, this can be split. So two 40 watt bulbs in a pair of sconces or three 30 watt bulbs above the mirror for example).
- Dining Room Chandelier For the best results, keep the total wattage of dining room chandelier between 200-400 watts depending on the room size. So, this can mean two 100 watt bulbs, four 60 or 75 watt bulbs, eight 50 watt bulbs and so on.
“Natural Light” and “Daylight” bulbs can range from 4000K to 6000K and look rather blue. These cooler temperature bulbs usually don’t work well for home staging or residential use, as they’re rather unflattering to skin tones and cast a more sterile, cold light. Daylight bulbs are best used in retail displays, security lighting, work places or garages. Avoid using these bulbs when staging your home or photographing MLS photos.
3rd Remember, LIGHT SELLS HOMES. Now, open all your windows, pull back those dark curtains and hike up those dusty mini blinds all the way up, remove any bugs, foil, dust and grime. Open and clean your windows and KEEP THEM OPEN DURING EVERY SHOWING. Yep, leave the blinds open for showings.
I promise you just knocking this out will put you ahead of so much of the competition! Let me know, if you personally see a marked difference when you get your bulbs matching and working!
Listing information last updated on December 2, 2020 at 8:00 PM EST.