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  • Writer's pictureTeam Pinto

How to Create Lighting Design That Will Help Sell Your Home



You’ve found the right Waterloo real estate agent.


You’ve followed the. sensible wisdom imparted by that real estate agent and repaired or replaced everything that needed fixing.


You’ve covered the basic three D’s of home staging—decluttering, depersonalization and deep cleaning.


Finally, it’s time to put your home on the market. But before you do, there’s one more thing to check. Lighting.


Home lighting is one often-overlooked detail of home staging that could sabotage all your hard work, especially at a time when more people may see your home for sale online via a virtual showing the first time at least, rather than in person.


In the very important game of Real Estate First Impressions, a badly lit home puts it at an automatic disadvantage. Darkness usually makes a home look and feel smaller, uninviting, and dingy, even when, in reality, that isn’t the case. Worse still, potential homebuyers may wonder what flaws are lurking in the shadows.


Lighting design is a complex topic that one can research for a long time. But, for those of you preparing your home for sale right now – or sometime in the near future—here are some basic tips to help your home make a bright, energizing impression at its next showing, whether that is online or in person. They can even make your life in your home right now nicer too!


Audit the Current Lighting Room- By- Room


The first thing you need to do is take a long, hard look at the current lighting situation in your home. Working room by room, open all the curtains and blinds, turn on all the lights and look at each space through the eyes of a buyer.


Keep in mind that showings usually happen at different times of day, so it’s good practice to repeat the exercise in the evening, when there’s less natural light and more electric light in the space, which may make a noticeable difference.


In places where you do spot potential problems, snap a few photos so that you can begin to build a lighting task list of the problems that will need to be addressed.


Look for Non-Lighting Light Issues


Sometimes, what we perceive as a "lighting problem" in a room is actually related to the home décor elements present. Dark furniture, wall colors, flooring, and even ceiling hues can significantly contribute to making a room appear dimmer than it actually is, regardless of the amount of light you introduce.


If repainting walls or replacing these larger items isn't within your current scope – whether due to time constraints, budget limitations, or simply a lack of desire to undertake such large projects – there are still effective, lower-commitment ways to brighten up your space:


Use Light-Colored Accessories




Incorporating lighter shades through home accessories can make a substantial difference. Opt for light-colored bedding in bedrooms, cozy throws on sofas, slipcovers on darker furniture pieces, and drapes that let in natural light. Area rugs in lighter tones can break up dark flooring, adding a brighter touch to the room. These elements not only lighten the space but also add a fresh, updated look without major renovations.


Strategically Place Mirrors




Mirrors are a decorator's secret weapon when it comes to amplifying light. Placing them in rooms that lack adequate natural light, especially opposite or near windows, can reflect and double the light that enters, making the room feel significantly brighter and more open. In addition to their practical benefits, mirrors can serve as stylish decor elements, enhancing the overall aesthetic of a space.


Implement Wall-Washing Light Sources




Adding light sources specifically designed to wash across dark walls can create an effect that significantly contributes to the overall ambient light in a room. Wall-mounted fixtures, sconces, or even strategically placed floor lamps that direct light upwards can soften the room's atmosphere.


This diffused light not only adds to the room’s ambient illumination but also helps the eye in assessing the room’s true dimensions, countering the constricting effect dark

colors can have on perceived space.


Update or Upgrade Old Lighting Fixtures


Dated lighting fixtures, while not necessarily a deal-breaker, can detract from the overall appeal of your home. They often fail to feature in the 'pros' column for potential buyers who are seeking a modern and updated look. Taking the time to replace or refurbish your existing lighting fixtures can be a relatively low-cost yet impactful way to enhance the overall aesthetic of your home.


When choosing new fixtures, consider the style and layout of each room. Modern, sleek designs can add a contemporary touch, while classic fixtures might better complement a traditional décor. If a full replacement isn't feasible, refurbishing old fixtures by cleaning, repainting, or updating their shades can also breathe new life into them.


In terms of bulb choice, opting for LED lights can be a game-changer. LEDs offer a brighter output (measured in lumens) compared to traditional incandescent bulbs while consuming less energy and producing less heat. This means you can achieve a brighter, more inviting space without increasing your energy consumption. Additionally, LEDs have a longer lifespan, which is a practical selling point for potential buyers who will appreciate the reduced need for frequent bulb replacements.


Upgrading to LEDs also opens up more options in terms of light color and intensity. From warm, cozy glows to bright, daylight-like illumination, you can choose the right ambiance for each area of your home. This flexibility allows you to tailor the lighting to enhance key features of your property, like accentuating the spaciousness of a living room or the coziness of a bedroom.


Add More Lighting On an As-Needed Basis




If your existing lighting setups 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. In the case of the latter you can add lighting with no wiring needed, by installing inexpensive, battery powered stick on LED lights that are only illuminated during showings.


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!


Tall ceilings shrouded in shadows? Your lighting may be placed too low. Consider adding a ceiling fixture, track lighting or pendants, depending on your space.


Don’t Overlook the Importance of Exterior Lighting




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 neighbourhood. And evening showings are far from unheard of.


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, very important, as the last thing you need is to have a potential homebuyer injured as they make their way up the path to view your home.


Illuminate the Path to a Successful Sale with Team Pinto


Lighting plays a pivotal role in showcasing the best features of your home and can significantly impact a buyer's first impression. As you prepare to sell your home in the Waterloo Region, consider the power of well-designed lighting to transform and enhance your space, making it more appealing to potential buyers.


Whether it's updating old fixtures, strategically placing lamps, or optimizing natural light, each decision you make in lighting design can contribute to creating a warm, inviting, and visually appealing environment. Remember, it's not just about the quantity of light, but also the quality and the mood it creates.


If you're ready to take the next steps in preparing your home for sale but are unsure where to start, Team Pinto is here to guide you. With our deep understanding of the Waterloo Region's real estate market and what buyers are looking for, we can provide you with expert advice on how to best showcase your home through effective lighting design and other key staging strategies.


Contact Team Pinto today for personalized guidance and support in preparing your home for a successful sale. We're dedicated to helping you highlight your home's best features, ensuring it stands out in the competitive real estate market. Let us shine a light on your home's potential and guide you through a seamless and profitable selling experience.


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