First Impressions That Get Homes Sold the Fastest

First Impressions Sell Homes

Say you're going on a first date or a job interview. There's one piece of advice you can expect to get from just about everyone: Make a good first impression. Well, if you're hoping to court a buyer for the home you're selling, that rule still applies. You wouldn't let a prospective boss (or the man or woman you're trying to impress) see you for the first time with an untucked shirt and bed head. So don't let potential buyers see your home at anything less than its best. Dress your home to impress.

" 'You never get a second chance to make a first impression' is as true in real estate as it is in life," said HGTV's Tom Pastillo. But this goes beyond the obvious decluttering (which we hope you do know you should do). It's about neutralizing your home so any potential buyers who come through have the best chance of visualizing themselves living there.

Put away all your family photos, children's toys, trinkets and anything personal that buyers could be turned off by. Why are family photos such a big deal. Well, if you walked into a home and saw photos of the family who lives there all over the place, what would you think? Probably: "Oh, what a lovely home they have." Not: "Oh, what a lovely home I could have."

Wanna go the extra mile to really get the job done and get your home sold? First impressions are everything, so watch the video above to see more things that you could be doing to your home to make buyers fall in love at first sight.

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First Impressions That Get Homes Sold the Fastest

Home staging techniques can transform a ho-hum house into a buyer's dream, getting your property the attention and purchase price it deserves. Dress your home for real estate success with easy, low-cost projects you can accomplish in a few pre-sale weekends.

Grab a pad and pen--along with your digital camera or smartphone--and get outside for a buyer’s perspective of your home. The view from the curb often determines whether or not a shopper will even consider giving your home a closer look and any signs of neglect or clutter can instantly turn them away. Start your to-do list here, noting what needs to be cleaned up, repaired and repainted.

Next, head inside for a preview of what buyers will see during an agent’s open house. As you travel from room to room, try to step out of your usual traffic patterns and take note of the dominant features in each room. Plan touch-ups that will showcase your home in the best light.

A truly lived-in look is not a plus when it comes to selling a home, so clear away everyday clutter including paperwork, collections and personal photos. The buyer needs to be able to visualize themselves in the space, and they won’t be able to do that with constant reminders that you’re still very much in residence.

Rearrange furnishing schemes in every room by getting rid of worn pieces and items that make a space seem overstuffed. There should be enough furniture in place to suggest proper scale and capacity, but not so much that traffic flow is hindered and architectural features are obscured.

Every inch of your home should sparkle with the kind of clean that tells buyers the property is cared for and in tip-top shape. Remove corner cobwebs, keep windows squeaky clean and banish any odors resulting from pets, cooking, smoking and the like.

A bright-red living room may fire up your imagination, but soft, neutral paint colors will better serve the buyer. Replace patterned and boldly colored wall coverings with off-white paint, and install low-grade tan wall-to-wall carpet.

After you’ve cleaned, painted and repositioned furniture, carefully select the art and accessories you choose to replace in every room of the home. Remember the rule of threes to create pleasing, uncluttered groupings of items, and add welcoming vitality with a few thoughtfully placed plants. Stow away all personal items and limit wall decorations to fewer and larger pieces, including strategically placed mirrors that expand spaces and reflect your best assets.

Home shoppers consider the garage to be a major bonus space, so help yours live up to their expectations with a thorough cleaning and uncluttered view of work and storage areas.

Give your home’s interior and exterior details some TLC. Touch up trim, polish cabinetry, repair or replace inoperable hardware and secure handrails. Also add shine to light fixtures with a thorough cleaning and installation of brand new bulbs.

Get potential buyers in the door by creating a grand entry. A front door that’s energy efficient as well as beautiful makes a great impression, and polished hardware, a tidy new doormat and planters overflowing with colorful blooms complete the look. And don’t forget to trim the lawn and tend to landscape plantings, because these chores can bring you a different kind of green: according to the Professional Landcare Network, lush landscaping adds as much as 15 percent to the property value of a home.


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