The thing about first impressions is that they come first. They come before second impressions, third impressions, and final impressions. While the final impression may lead to an offer in real estate, the first impression is most important because it opens the door to all future impressions.
This all seems pretty obvious, right? However, if it’s so obvious, why do home sellers neglect the exterior appearance of their house so often?
The answer may be as simple as homeowners rarely look at the exterior of their home. And once someone gets ready to sell, they zero in on all the interior problem areas that need to be fixed. Of course, it may also be that with most homes there is so much to do, home sellers don’t know where to start.
Even though kitchens and baths sell homes, you have to get the buyer in the home first.
In order to make a good first impression, home sellers need to consider the following list:
- Trimming Shrubbery and Trees – Over time the shrubs planted by the front of the house usually encroach on the walkway. Sometime buyers can’t even use the walkway because the shrubs are so overgrown. Trimming or replacing is the best option. The same goes for trees that were planted to close to the house or over time have just grown too big.
- Mow the Lawn – It may seem like a no brainer, but keeping the grass cut, trimmed, and edged will be that silent greeting the buyer receives as they pull into the driveway.
- Mulching or Rocking – Fresh mulch may smell a bit funky, but the look is exquisite. It’s that extra step that shows the home buyer that the seller cares about the home. Adding rock is also a good touch and doesn’t require as much maintenance.
- Plant Flowers – Simple pops of color along the walkway let the home seller say, “welcome,” without even being home. The pleasant aroma can be the perfect greeting.
- Paint the Front Door and Add New Hardware – Nothing quite says, “go away,” like a fading, peeling front door and rusty, tarnished hardware.
- Replace Rotting Boards – Rot is ugly, may be a sign of bigger problems, and can scare the buyers. Doing the work before listing helps avoid unnecessary panic about a home’s stability while showing the home and during inspection.
- Paint the Exterior – A fresh coat of paint can add value to the home. And while the painters are there, they can inspect for any rotting siding or trim and make replacements. It may cost a little more upfront but can save a sale during the inspection.
- Repair/Replace Broken Siding – Vinyl siding is known to get broken by the occassional hail storm or wreckless weed wacker. While being careful to color match, a fresh strip of siding does wonders. If it’s cement composite siding, replacing and repainting cracked boards will help avoid negative attention and concerns at inspection time.
- Powerwash – Removing the mildew that grows on the side of the house that never sees the sun is a nice touch. Ridding the home of webs, bugs, and birds’ nests show attention to detail and cleanliness.
- Add Seasonal Decorations – A simple wreath hanging from the door or potted flowers may add just the right amount of friendly charm.
Preparing to sell requires attention to the details both inside and out. A beautiful interior deserves and equally inviting exterior. To make a great final impression and receive an offer, always remember to make a positive first impression.
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