Before the first potential buyer even steps into your house, you may already feel exhausted. It takes a lot of energy to get ready to sell, get your home listed, prepare the marketing of your home, and get the real estate sign installed in your yard. But the hard work doesn’t stop there…
Literally five minutes after you “go live” on the market, you may get your first showing request. Don’t underestimate how important it is to make your home look its best for every potential buyer that views your home. First impressions are everything in real estate. But don’t think you have to make major repairs and upgrades. Giving your home the maximum perceived value doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.
Some things you can do to ensure your home’s exterior lands favorable first impressions include:
Exterior Curb Appeal
Experts say most buyers make their decision at first sight.
Prospective buyers will react will to signs your home has been meticulously maintained.
- Manicure landscaping: mow, edge and water lawn, trim hedges, wee and fertilize flowerbeds, and prune trees.
- Keep driveway clean and free of parked cars, and keep the garage door closed.
- Repair or replace loose or damaged roof shingles.
- Minimize cracks or crumbling on walkways, walls, or steps, and keep them clean and free from obstructions like toys or snow.
- Items from RV’s to waste cans left out can contribute to a cluttered or busy appearance. Make sure that from the street, your property appears clear.
- Inspect appearance of interior window coverings from the curb.
- Repair any peeling paint or loose caulking on windows or other areas.
- Take steps to eliminate insect or rodent pests.
- Pick up after your pets or neighborhood animals.
While agents work the lockbox for a key, buyers have idle time to notice details.
- Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door and frame.
- Consider adding pots of flowering plants in the entryway if weather permits.
- Eliminate cobwebs and groom doorway area windows, porch lights, or decorative glass.
Once inside, experts say most buyers are reaffirming their curbside decision.
Clean, Clear, Light and Bright
- Give every room in the house a thorough cleaning and remove all clutter. Hiring a cleaning service may pay for itself by adding to a buyer’s perceived value of your home.
- For a sleeker, more spacious look, consider placing furniture from crowded rooms in storage.
- Clear kitchen counters of everything other than perhaps a few very pretty items. Ask yourself: In a model home, would a professional decorator put your choice of items on the counter?
- Remember: closets will be opened! Keep closets, cupboards, and even your attic orderly and neat. Since you are anticipating a move anyway, consider holding a garage sale or boxing and storing unused belongings.
- If necessary, repaint or clean/replace dingy, soiled or strongly-colored walls, and window or floor coverings with a light, neutral shade. Bright rooms look bigger, and neutral colors help buyers envision their own furnishings and décor.
- Repair dripping faucets, burned out light bulbs, or cracked windowpanes.
- Repair cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, and tiles.
Warm and Homey
- Subtle scents of potpourri in bedrooms or baths and fresh baked cookies or cinnamon in the kitchen can make your home more inviting.
- Keep an attractive set of towels in each bathroom to be brought out only for showings.