So you have decided to sell your home. You’ve hired the best real estate agent you can, you’ve done all necessary repairs or replacements. You’ve decluttered, de-personalized, and thoroughly cleaned the home. Now that you’re ready to put your home on the market, you’ve got one more thing to do. That is make sure that the lighting is correct. A poorly lit home makes for an automatic disadvantage. Darkness can make a home feel small, uninviting and dirty, even when it isn’t. Worse, a potential buyer may wonder what flaws are lurking in the shadows Below are some basic tips to help you make a bright, energizing impression at your next viewing.
Open all the curtains and blinds, turn on all the lights and look at each space through the eyes of a buyer. Use your camera if it helps you make note of any areas that need help. Keep in mind that showings may happen at different times of day, so it’s good to repeat the exercise in the evening, when there’s less natural light.
Sometimes, lighting problems are due to bad design. Dark furnishings, wall colors, flooring and even ceiling colors can make a room seem dark no matter how much light you pour into them. Use light colored bedding, throws, slip covers, drapes, area rugs and other room-appropriate accessories to brighten the space. Mirrors can reflect available light and make a room feel larger and more open. Try adding them to rooms with inadequate windows.
Add light sources that can wash across dark walls. The diffused light can add to the ambient illumination and give the eye a little help when assessing the room’s true dimensions. Also consider replacing some light fixtures and bulbs. Dated fixtures may not be a deal-breaker, they certainly won’t do your selling your home task any favors.
Also be sure to add more lamps and fixtures if needed. If your existing lights still aren’t getting the job done, you may need to call for some reinforcements. Bedside lamps, desk lamps and under-cabinet lighting can all add to your overall light profile while also highlighting attractive details, like your backsplash or countertops.
Vanity lighting in the bathrooms should be bright and consistent, with no drastic shadows and glare. Adding sconces beside the mirrors may help you achieve this.
Attractive table lamps may offer visual interest, as well as much-needed light in a living room, den or game room. No surfaces for lamps? Consider torchieres or other floor lamps.
Accent lighting can draw attention to a room’s focal points, such as the mantle or built-in shelving. Tread lighting can help brighten a staircase; and provide added safety benefits. Keep in mind that curb appeal is just as important at night as it is during the day. Potential buyers may drive by at any hour to check out your home and neighborhood.
A well lit exterior not only invites buyers, it also discourages burglars. Your buyers may not be consciously thinking about it, but they will probably feel safer in your neighborhood, the more light they see. Path lighting creates a welcoming impression and, like tread lighting, helps decrease tripping hazards.