Lights, camera, action!

They say pictures are worth a thousand words and in today’s real estate market, the pictures of your home that appear on your online listing are imperative to your success as a seller. Before the camera starts clicking though, we’ve got a little more work to do. You’ve selected a qualified Realtor to list your home and you have cleaned it and de-cluttered it in preparation. Now, we paint & stage.

 Red, yellow, purple, pink.

All lovely hues, all unpopular with buyers. Though you adored the glossy lime green gracing your dining room walls while you lived in the home, remind yourself that we are now preparing a product for market and it’s time to cover that lime with a neutral color. Of course, there are possible exceptions. If your game room is gold & blue, it may work in this Mountaineer loving town of ours. Ask your Realtor. Let he or she guide you. When in doubt, stick with neutrals. Light tans and off whites have always been popular, and I am a big fan of pale greys these days.

Next, remove all personal photos and mementos throughout your home. Pictures of your wedding day, your children, your graduation, your last cruise – these things are your special memories and but mean nothing to buyers. The only thing these personal items will do is distract and we want your house itself to be a buyer’s focus. Put all of these personal items away in storage while your home is on the market. It’s a hotel room vibe we are going for, so keep your eye on the prize. Neutral and clean win every time in the house selling game.

When you de-cluttered, you hopefully removed all unique furnishings and moved them into storage. If not, please take down that artistic painting of a nude caveman riding a dinosaur and move it into your storage area. While you are doing this final streamlining of décor, take an objective look at the scale of your furniture. Anything that is too large for the space should also be put into storage. Consult your Realtor to be sure everything that needs removed is now out. 

Let there be light.

Throw open draperies to achieve a light-filled, cheerful interior. Show off those newly cleaned windows. Add a spa-like element suggesting peaceful relaxation to your bathrooms by adding in some decorative candles, nice hand soap, neatly folded hand towel, and a new shower curtain if yours looks like it has seen better days. While prepping the bathroom, put down the toilet lid! It’s amazing what a difference that makes in pictures.

What’s your favorite feature of the home? Say it is a small reading nook. Highlight that special feature by draping a soft blanket over the chair, and placing a few interesting novels beside a pretty tea cup on the side table.

Show them why they should fall in love with your house the same way you did when you first saw it.

Written by Jessica Miller Lipscomb, Owner/Houses & More Real Estate. Jessica can be contacted at 304.216.2440 or


This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.