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7 Keys to Making a Great First Impression When Selling Your Home

First impressions are important. They are important when you go in for an interview. They are important when you go out on your first date. Similarly, first impressions are important when you are trying to sell your home. In an interview or when you go out for your first date, you typically will have time to make up for any negative reactions that you gave off in your first impression. However, when selling a house, a negative first impression could keep a homebuyer from even entering the home, giving the seller no chance to make up for the bad first impression. A positive, enticing first impression is going to give you a much, much greater chance of actually selling your home. Seven keys to making a great first impression when selling your home include:

  1. Check the exterior.

    It should come as no surprise that checking the exterior of the home comes first on this list. The curb appeal is going to cause the driver to stop, park, and come inside the home. Areas to touch up include: the lawn, plants, outdoor furniture, and the swimming pool. The lawn should be green and mowed. The plants should be alive and pruned. The outdoor furniture should be cleaned and in good shape. The swimming pool should be blue and cleaned.

  2. Clean up the front entrance.

    The door should look welcoming. Have it repainted, buy a new doorknob, and do what you need to do to make it look inviting. Consider having a few decorative items near the door.

  3. Clean and de-clutter the interior.

    As soon as the buyer steps into the house, they will notice whether the home is clean or unclean, full of belongings or spacious for the buyer to imagine it as their home.

    Areas to de-clutter include:
    • The closets. Go through each room and donate, throw away, or sell any extra toys, clothes, or knickknacks that you or a member of your family does not use or need anymore.
    • The cupboards. Check the bathrooms and kitchen for similar belongings: any items that you do not use or need anymore. The less you have in storage spaces, the easier it will be for you to sell your home.
    • Furniture. A home with excess or old furniture is going to make the home look small, crowded, and cheap. With less furniture and the best furniture, your home will be a better offer.
    Areas to clean include:
    • The flooring. If you have carpet, you are going to want to give it a very deep cleaning. If a homebuyer does not have the money to change the carpet that is currently in your home, then they are going to want the carpet in that home to be clean and in good shape. Nobody is going to want to see the coffee stain or dirt you and your family brought in from outside. It will cause the homebuyer to feel like the home they are looking to buy is second-hand and second-class.
    • The closets and cupboards. After you have de-cluttered them, make sure to give them a good cleaning. You do not want the prospective homebuyer to open the cupboard and closet to find an organized, dirty space. The de-cluttering is in vain if cleaning does not happen afterwards.
  4. Check the electrical components.

    A homebuyer is going to be looking for a home that has a sufficient amount of lighting. As they walk through each room, they are going to check to make sure the lights work. Do not put yourself in an uncomfortable situation by having the prospective homebuyer be the first person to realize that a light switch does not work. Go through the home, turn on each light, and replace any light bulbs that do not work. As you check the lights, consider adding more wattage to each fixture in order to make the room even brighter. Homeowners love light.

  5. Add new caulk.

    Homebuyers love a nice looking kitchen and bathroom. One way to help these rooms look newer and cleaner is by adding new caulk to the sinks, bathtubs, and showers. This will not only make the bathrooms and kitchens look newer and cleaner, but will also ensure that the sinks, bathtubs, and showers do not have any leaks around the edges.

  6. Have plans arranged for your pet.

    A pet can be a deal breaker. Having a pet at home is a risk. There are going to be homebuyers are are either allergic to animals or really dislike them. A homebuyer is not looking for an opportunity to snuggle up with your pet. They will not want to walk into a home and have a dog bark, a cat scratch, or birds chirping loudly in the background. Check with nearby family or friends to see if they would be willing to take care of your pet while you are in the middle of selling your home. If you are unable to have someone else care for your pet, do what you can to ensure that the pet will not disturb the homebuyer.

  7. Pretend to be a homebuyer.

    Start from the street, look at your home from the outside, then slowly make your way inside, noting any areas that you think could cause a homebuyer to have a bad first impression. Fix any areas that caught your attention. Then, ask a few friends or family to do the same thing. Take note of any areas that negatively catch their attention. Ask if they have any tips on how you could make the home sell more easily. It is important that as you or your friends and family members check the house, you pretend that it is your first time ever visiting the home. There may be certain areas that, to you or your friends and family, seem normal because of everyone being familiar with your house. But unfortunately, those particular areas could affect a homebuyer negatively. For example: the ancient carpet, vintage couch, homemade pictures, or children’s playroom. Though those areas make it feel like home for you, they may not attract the homebuyer.

The first step to making a great first impression is having a home that looks appealing from the exterior. A homebuyer is going to work their way through the home from the outside to the inside. The more time and effort you put into making a good first impression, the higher the chances you have of selling your home. There is no nook or cranny that is too insignificant to be cleaned or de-cluttered.

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