A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION CAN HELP SELL YOUR HOME

You have heard time and time again that first impressions are the most lasting impressions, and that is even more true in the real estate industry. Your primary role as a home seller is to make your home as attractive as possible to potential buyers from the moment they set foot on your property. The time, effort and financial investment involved can give you the competitive edge needed to sell your home when you want and at the price you want.
YOUR HOME’S EXTERIOR CREATES THE PROSPECTIVE BUYER’S FIRST IMPRESSION Since the exterior of your home is the first thing a prospective buyer sees, a little time and effort can make a big difference in the impression your property creates. The work you put in before listing your home can pay big dividends when you ultimately close the sale. Use this checklist to make sure your home’s exterior looks its best:

⦁ Lawn is well-cut and neatly trimmed around the sidewalks, walkways and driveway.Flower garden is weeded. ⦁ Shrubs are trimmed, and dead trees or branches are eliminated. ⦁ All debris is disposed of, and toys and lawn equipment are neatly stored. ⦁ Fences and gates are repaired and repainted, if necessary. ⦁ The roof, gutters and downspout are in good repair. ⦁ Driveways and sidewalks are washed down and checked for cracking and crumbling. ⦁ Cracked windows and torn screens are replaced. Screens, windows and window sills are washed. ⦁ Doorknobs are cleaned. ⦁ Doorbell and front lights are in good working order.

If you plan to paint the house before listing it for sale, paint it in neutral colors that match the rest of your community. Before you get started, check in with your real estate agent first to make sure that the money you put into the paint job will be returned at the close of the sale. If your home’s exterior looks clean, orderly and in good repair, that’s the impression your house will first convey.

A SPOTLESS INTERIOR WILL REINFORCE YOUR HOME’S GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION

Interior dirt and clutter can obscure your home’s best attributes, so start with a full house cleaning from top to bottom. Store unused or unnecessary items in closets and storage areas, or hold a garage sale. Eliminate clutter, and your home will look more spacious – an important selling point. Not only that, but it makes it easier for prospective buyers to imagine their own belongings in the home. Take an inspection tour of your home, observing it as a potential buyer would, before listing it for sale. Here’s a checklist to help you show off the interior of your home in the best possible light: ⦁ Walls are clean and free of smudges, fingerprints and dents. ⦁ Woodwork and wallpaper are inspected for problem areas. Wallpaper is cleaned, and woodwork is waxed. ⦁ Badly worn furniture is temporarily stored elsewhere. ⦁ Curtains and drapes are freshly laundered. ⦁ Rugs and carpets are shampooed. Floors are waxed or polished. ⦁ Loose doorknobs, sticking doors, windows and warped drawers are repaired. ⦁ Leaky faucets are fixed. Water discoloration in sink is eliminated. ⦁ Loose stair banisters are tightened, and steps are free of clutter. ⦁ Light fixtures are in good working order. Discolored or cracked switch plates are replaced. ⦁ Closets, shelves and drawers are organized to show spaciousness. ⦁ Clothing is hung neatly, and shoes and other objects are neatly arranged in closets. ⦁ Bathrooms are sparkling clean. Tub and shower caulking is repaired. ⦁ Bedrooms are neat. Bedspreads and curtains are cleaned. ⦁ The kitchen is clean and tidy, including cupboards, stove and oven. ⦁ The garage is clean and well-organized. ⦁ Mirrors, picture frames and glass covering pictures are clean. ⦁ Mirrors are strategically placed to create an impression of added space in compact areas. ⦁ Lamp shades are in good condition. ⦁ Electrical connections are plugged in and operational. It is also important to keep lighting in mind when you show your home. Good lighting will make your home seem more cheery and spacious. Open the shades, curtains or shutters to let in natural light, and turn on lamps in darker rooms as needed.

OVER-IMPROVING DOESN’T PAY

Don’t plan any major improvements on your home before you sell it. Most home buyers will prefer to make their own major changes. You are usually wiser to sell them on the potential of the home at a price they can afford. You can do a lot to help your real estate agent show your home at its best. Showing your home is all-important to its sale, and there are many ways you can help your real estate professional do his or her job successfully. Check in with your agent regularly for more tips and advice.

LAST-MINUTE DETAILS THAT WILL MAXIMIZE YOUR HOME’S SELLING POTENTIAL

⦁ The television and radio are turned off or the volume is low enough to allow the salesperson and buyer(s) to talk, free from distractions. ⦁ Children and pets are sent outdoors to play or otherwise entertained to eliminate confusion and to keep the prospect’s attention focused on your house. ⦁ Bad odors are eliminated. Air freshener is used before the potential buyer arrives, especially if you have pets or if the house has been closed up for some time. ⦁ The house has adequate lighting. Drapes are open during the day, and plenty of lights, including the porch light, are lit at night. ⦁ Wood is stored next to the fireplace. In winter, a fire is lit. ⦁ The kitchen sink is free of dishes. ⦁ Magazines and children’s toys are in order. ⦁ Plants have been watered and look healthy.

WHAT YOU CAN DO WHILE YOUR HOUSE IS BEING SHOWN

⦁ First and foremost, leave the home. Remember that potential buyers want to see if the home is a fit for them. If you are hovering over them, they may feel uncomfortable, which can deter them from purchasing your home. ⦁ Be courteous, but don’t force conversation with the potential buyer(s) as you leave. ⦁ Ask your real estate broker or agent if your presence is necessary. ⦁ Never apologize for the appearance of your home. Let your real estate broker or agent answer any questions potential buyers have about the home. ⦁ Leave it to your real estate professional to emphasize the features of your home. ⦁ Make sure your agent or broker knows how to contact in case you are needed to answer questions. ⦁ Let your real estate professional discuss price, terms, possession and other factors with the potential buyer(s).