5 ways to make sure your home makes a good first impression
First impressions are critical for pretty much everything important in life. When you meet someone new for the first time, when you experience something new for the first time, when you try a food you haven’t had before, or when you are searching for something you are considering to purchase, you often make up your mind in the first few moments, about whether you like it, love it, or just aren’t interested in it at all.
That is certainly true when it comes to home shopping, and that is why it is critical that the home you are trying to sell makes a good first impression to potential buyers.
Here are some tips to make sure you do just that!
1. Make sure your listing has great pictures
Most home buyers these days do most of their house shopping online, so the first place they are going to see your home is on the internet. You’ll want to make sure that the pictures of your home on your listing do everything they can to attract buyers to want to come and see it in person. How do you do that?
1. Make sure your home is neat and tidy before you start taking pictures
2. Open the blinds to let in as much natural light as possible
3. If you are using your phone, make sure you hold it sideways – horizontally, rather than vertically. Horizontal pictures show much better on the internet than vertical pictures.
4. Always use your flash
5. Stand in corners of rooms or doorways to take your pictures, to make your rooms look as large as possible
6. Consider hiring a professional to take pictures for you – it is almost always money well spent
2. Take a look at the exterior of your home from a fresh perspective
You’ve seen your property from the outside a thousand times, and probably don’t even give it a thought anymore. Try pretending you’ve never seen it before. Drive up to it like a potential buyer who has never seen it before, and try to imagine what that buyer’s first impression might be.
Does it have great street appeal, or is it looking a little tired? If it is, do what you can to make sure the street appeal is as good as you can make it. That might mean trimming some shrubs, touching up some paint, or moving garbage and recycling bins to spots where they are a little more discreet.
In the summer, make sure your lawns are mowed nicely, and in the winter, that the driveways and sidewalks are shovelled and welcoming.
3. Have everything ready to go
When a buyer does come to see your home, make sure everything is ready to go when they arrive. Open all the blinds, and turn on all the lights.
Make sure the home is warm if you are showing it on a cold day, and make sure it is cool if you are showing it on a hot day. You want the buyer to able to picture themselves living in your home right away.
Make sure the home smells great too. Baked brownies, baked bread or anything else that brings that feeling of home into your house can help make a good first impression for people who are seeing it for the first time.
4. Be welcoming when buyers come to see the home
When a buyer comes to your home, make sure you make them feel welcome, and let them know you are happy they came over to take a look.
You can offer to take them for a tour of the home yourself, or ask if they prefer to just wander through on their own. Make sure you take the chance to tell them about any special features that make you proud of your home, and answer any questions they might have about your home honestly.
You’ll want to make sure the buyer’s first impression of you is just as good as their first impression of your home!
5. Remember, your home isn’t yours anymore
Once you take the step to put your home on the market, you need to recognize that your home is no longer yours. It now belongs to someone else – you just don’t know who yet.
So, it is time to remove everything that makes it look like “your” home. Take down family pictures, and awards, or certificates. No more sticky notes or calendars on the fridge.
De-clutter as much as possible, and get those things in boxes to get a jump on being ready for your move once the house is sold.
Do your best to make sure your home looks like a show-home, ready for a new owner or family to move in right away.
Many buyers tell us they pretty much make up their minds about whether or not they are going to buy a home within the first 30 seconds of entering a home. If the first impression isn’t great, it is really tough to overcome that, and if it is great, you need to make sure that great first impression is confirmed by the rest of the house-viewing experience.