We have all heard about curb appeal and how important it is when it comes time to sell real estate. Basically curb appeal is the attractiveness of your home from the street. But in this day in age its more important to ask does your home have “web appeal”? Or how attractive does your home appear on the web!
Web appeal is not all that different than curb appeal. It is about first impressions. What impression are you giving that internet buyer on their very first peek at your house?
That first impression can determine if a buyer wants to invest more time looking into your home.
Internet Home Buyers
The internet has changed things when it comes to home buying. The speed at which buyers can gain information on your home for sale is blazing fast. Home buyers don’t want to wait for information.
Also with advancements in digital cameras the quality of real estate photography has advanced 10 fold. Not only has the quality increased but because the ease of taking quality photographs the quantity has increased.
Prior to 2000-2005 many home buyers would diligently do drive by’s to check on the homes curb appeal and general neighborhood. But now, they are really on your homes web appeal to determine whether they want to give it a drive by or schedule a personal showing.
Your Homes Web Appeal is a Home Buyers First Contact with Your Home
Awhile ago I did a quick post on an ocular study done by home buyers viewing an online listing by Professor Seiler. Professor Seiler basically said “if you don’t capture the home buyers attention in the first 20 seconds you lost them”.
Interestingly enough the front photo or the “curb appeal” photo of the home is the most important. It is the one most agents lead with when listing a home for sale.
It is also what a home buyer expects for the first photo of an online listing. As a matter of fact home buyers are highly suspect of the homes appeal if the “curb appeal” photo is not listed first.
Some Facts About Prof. Seiler’s Study
- 95.1% of the viewers viewed the curb appeal photo first before anything else.
- More than 20 seconds was spent on the curb appeal photo on average.
- Over 60% of a viewers time was spent on viewing photographs.
- The curb appeal photo was viewed for over twice as long as any other photo.
- Over 41% of the viewers never read the agents remarks.
There are some very interesting things to be gleaned from the home buying study.
First is the curb appeal photo of your home is a critical turning point for buyers.
Second is the additional photos are important to keeping the buyers attention… as Professor Seiler says “Show it, don’t tell it.”
Also, from the study it sowed that after the first few photos, average time for each successive photo became less and less. I also find this true based on tracking listings o line photo two will have far more views of photo 30. Everytime!
What this shows us is the order of photographs is very important. Put your money shots first. What are money shots…. usually the brand new kitchen or the massive family room. The rooms with the wow factor. Front load the listing with 9 similar shots of the homes exterior and you may have lost the buyer!! And, believe it or not agents do that!
So Does Your Home Have Web Appeal?
As spelled out above that curb appeal photo of your home is hyper critical for your homes web appeal and should not be taken lightly. From the study it shows your front view or curb appeal view can make or break you in a matter of seconds!! Basically the “curb appeal photo” is replacing the actual drive by curb appeal of your home in many cases.
Here are some things I am very adamant that sellers do when it comes time to take the curb appeal photo.
- The yard is cleaned up and in tip top showing condition. This means all play equipment, lawn equipment, cars and trash cans should be removed for the photos.
- Remove cars and trash cans.
- Your homes web appeal is just important as the curb appeal. Is your lawn meticulously groomed, is the driveway and walk in good repair and weeded? Do you need to add some landscaping to make your web appeal pop?
- Is your front entrance and door clean, or is it in need of painting?
- Power wash exteriors and walkways.
Take a step out to the street and take a look yourself from the perspective of the buyer. Are the any negatives you can fix? Is there anything you can do to enhance the curb appeal?
Pay attention to the quality of your agents photographs that you are hiring. Many agents are now hiring real estate photographers or have taken the time to learn how to properly photograph their own listings. In this day and age of marketing a home, a good listing agent should provide good quality images of your entire home.
Dark, crooked, out of focus and off color images are unacceptable.
- The front curb appeal photo should be taken with full sunlight on the front and blue sky in the background whenever possible. Sometimes it is difficult if the home faces north or is surrounded by trees.
- It should be taken slightly off center to the right or left to catch a little bit of the side of the house.
- Is should be a tighter shot showing a little bit of the surroundings, but not so far back that the house is not filling up the majority of the shot.
Again this front “curb appeal” shot is so important to capturing and retaining a home buyers attention. If it doesn’t capture the viewers attention they will move on to the next listing that may have more web appeal.
Additional Photos Add to your Web Appeal
Once a home buyer moves off the curb appeal photo they will most likely move onto the other photos of your home. Make sure your home is in perfect showing condition before the photos are taken!
I recently wrote an article over at Realty Times…. Unlocking the 3 Keys to A Successful Home Sale. The three keys are preparing your home, pricing your home and marketing your home. Your home needs to be fully prepared to list before taking the photos to market your home.
Quality real estate photographs are the single most important factor in presenting the home online to potential buyers. Forget the quantity, forget slick virtual tours or 3d imaging. Those are all nice to have but with out high quality still shots… forget it.
Take the real estate photography of your home seriously. They are the first line of marketing your home.
Final Thoughts on the Web Appeal of Your Home
Web Appeal, or how your home is visually presented online, in many ways, has replaced curb appeal. Your online appeal is the first experience many home buyer will have of your home. Your homes online visuals will be what compels today’s home buyers to at least do a drive by of your home if not schedule a personal showing.
Web Appeal starts with preparing your home properly then taking great, compelling real estate photos.
So many decisions are being made by home buyers just by the photos they find of your home online. Make sure your home is at its very best when it comes time to take the listing photos of your home. When it comes time to hire an agent don’t be afraid to ask to see some of the listings they have done so you can check the quality of their real estate photography.
Your homes web appeal is what will capture a buyers attention and keep them engaged with your home until they pick up the phone for a showing.
Other Real Estate Resources:
- Anita Clark- Does Your Home Have It?…. Appeal!
- Steven Pacinelli 3 Tips for Better Real Estate Photography
- Bill Gassett Selecting A Real Estate Agent for Maximimum Online Marketing
- Joe Boylan 3d Photography Could Change Real Estate Forever
- Paul Sian Tips for Selling Your Home in the Fall
This article about Does Your House Have Web Appeal? is written by Kevin Vitali of EXIT Group One Real Estate. Need help buying or selling a home? Give me a call at 978-360-0422 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Real Estate Services in the following areas: Northeast Massachusetts, Merrimack Valley, North Shore and Metrowest. Including the following communities and the surrounding area- Amesbury, Andover, Billerica, Burlington, Chelmsford, Dracut, Groveland, Haverhill, Lowell, Melrose, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, North Andover, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, Wakefield, Wilmington, Westford