Ask Our Agents: How to Make the First Look CountPosted by Susan Fessler on Thursday, June 7th, 2012 at 8:11am.
"You never get a second chance to make a first impression." That saying could never be more true than in the world of real estate. Clutter and other distractions all too often hinder the sale of what is otherwise a very wonderful home. We asked our agents to share their best advice for maximizing the "sellability" of your home. As seasoned professionals, they have firsthand knowledge of what works...and what doesn't. Read below for our insider tips on staging your home and increasing curb appeal.
-De-clutter! Keep decor simple (non-personal, non-cultural). Think about replacing over-sized furniture with smaller items - it will make the room appear larger! And don't forget to clean and repair those cracks in the driveway...it's the first thing potential buyers see when they arrive. - Veronica Jones
-I tell my sellers, "Live as if you're a guest in your own home." - Charles Heyman
- Remove everything off of the floor in a closet for photos. Keep the toilet seats down. Put away family photos. Add a burst of color to your flower beds around the home. Also, adding fresh flowers inside is great for staging a home. - Torrence Ford
-A nicely tended yard with flowers gives the home a happy appearance. - Barbara de Courcy-Ireland
-Reshape the bushes. Not qute like Edward Scissorhands but just to clean them up. Make efforts for your yard to look as impeccable as possible. - Delores Deloach
-Remove pets or eliminate pet odors! - Nia Knowles
-Outside areas should be clean, yard trimmed, and clutter free. Indoors, eveything should be neat and in its place. - Patricia Wise
-The likelihood of a sale depends greatly on the buyer’s first impression. With so much inventory on the market currently, your listings won’t get a second or third chance to make a good first impression. If the outside of the home looks as though it has not been maintained, buyers will wonder what maintenance issues may have been skipped on the inside as well. Enlist the help of a licensed real estate agent. The agent should encourage the seller to keep the grass cut, bushes pruned, leaves raked, etc. It’s is a good idea to have the exterior, deck, and driveway power-washed. An easy welcoming step is to introduce color. Freshly painted trim provides noticeable sparkle. For the ambitious homeowner, do-it-yourself landscape improvements are a relatively inexpensive way to increase a home's visual appeal. Make all the small, inexpensive repairs you’ve been putting off. The appearance of a home's exterior is equally important as the interior features and condition. When buyers see your home from the street and the front walk, they believe that “what they see is what they get.” - Christopher Russ
Not sure where to begin with all of these tips? Grab your camera and head to the street in front of your home. Snap a photo of the full view from the street, making sure to include all the major outside areas (yard, flower beds, driveway, garage, front door, windows, etc.). Do the same on the inside - take a picture of the entryway and each room (even bathrooms!) and then sit down to review the photos. Do you see anything that could look sharper with a little cleaning up? Do any distractions or clutter catch your eye? You can even ask a friend or relative to look through the photos to see if they catch anything that could be tidied up or fixed. Most of all, be objective. While it may seem funny to hide pieces of your home that make it "home" (such as family photos), buyers want to be able to picture themselves living in the house, which can be hard to do when it is styled or decorated strongly to someone else's personality and lifestyle. Selling your house can be emotional, but once you have already made the decision to sell you will want to do everything possible to make it as quick and smooth as possible.
Do you have comments or questions about how to successfully sell your home? Share them with us in the comment section below! Follow us on Facebook for more insider tips like these.
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