Three Things to Remember:
1.) You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
2.) Most buyers make decisions about the property they see within the first 15 seconds of entering the home.
3.) It’s a fact: acquiring the highest market value and elevating your home above others in the same price range often comes down to first impressions.
POINTERS FOR CREATING THE MOST FAVORABLE FIRST IMPRESSION:
CURB APPEAL The outside of your house can be the source of a very good first impression. Keep the grass well-watered and mowed. Have your trees trimmed. Cut back overgrowth. Plant some blooming flowers. Store toys, bicycles, roller-skates, gardening equipment and the like out of sight. Have at least the front of your house and the trim painted, if necessary. Sweep the porch and the front walkway. After dark, turn on your front porch light and any other exterior lighting.
CLEANING Buyers want to move into a clean home. They feel more assured of that prospect if the home is spotless at its showing. Clean all surfaces, including walls, baseboard trim, window sills, light switches, doors, and light fixtures. Steam clean carpets and dust window blinds. Dust/wash off lint from the washer and dryer, even wash off the furnace and hot water heater. A sparkling clean home is sure to impress!
DE-CLUTTER If your home has too much furniture, overflowing closets, crowded kitchen and bathroom countertops, cluttered bookshelves, stacks of books and papers or overstuffed filing cabinets, or collectibles on display, potential buyers won’t be able to see your home. Get rid of anything you don’t need or use. Rent an off-site storage space if that’s what it takes to clear out your home.
DE-PERSONALIZE When a perspective buyer walks into your home and sees various odds & ends scattered around the home that are special to you, but not necessarily anyone else, they will have a hard time picturing themselves in the home. If they cannot picture themselves in your home, they are not likely to make an offer on it. Personal pictures, posters, memorabilia, family heirlooms, trophies, religious emblems, statues, books, and similar should be removed. De-personalizing your home does not mean that you need to get rid of all of those items – Simply pack-up these items. You just need to remove them from the home until you are done with the selling process.
NEUTRALIZE WITH PAINT Paint color is a personal choice, and potential buyers will probably want to customize it for themselves when they move in, but that’s no reason not to paint when selling. Your home cannot be bland of personality, but it also cannot have bold, loud, dark colors covering walls in paint or wallpaper. Neutralize the colors into soft earth tones that are pleasing for the mass market of buyers. Don’t forget to focus on the details: window & door trim, baseboards & crown molding.
SCENTS Many people are oblivious to scents, but others are extremely sensitive to offensive odors. To eliminate bad smells, bathe your pets, freshen the cat litter box frequently, shampoo your carpets, dry clean your drapes, and empty trash cans, recycling bins and ash trays. Place open boxes of baking soda in smell-prone areas, and refrain from cooking fish or strong-smelling foods. Introduce pleasing smells by placing flowers or potpourri in your home and using air fresheners.
MAKE ALL NECESSARY REPAIRS Buyers expect everything in their new home to operate safely and properly. Picky buyers definitely will notice-and likely magnify — minor maintenance problems you’ve ignored for months or even years. Leaky faucets, burned-out light bulbs, painted-shut or broken windows, inoperable appliances and the like should be fixed before you put your home on the market. These repairs may seem small, but left undone they can lead buyers to question whether you’ve taken good care of your home.