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Do you know exactly what to do to impress buyers when they visit your home? Pretty much everyone over the age of 10 has heard of the saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” But nobody really tells you how long you have to make that first impression. Is it the entire time of you meeting – say for 2 hours? Or is it the first 30 minutes of your conversation? Well, according to Psychological Science, you only get a tenth of a second (yep, 1/10 seconds) for a stranger to form an impression of you based on how you look. Read ahead to find out how to impress prospective buyers.
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How to impress prospective buyers
So that has me wondering, how long does your house have to make its first impression? Even if you have a little bit longer, every second is important. So it’s best to create a plan to ‘wow’ any prospective buyers as soon as they pull up to your house. Read ahead for 5 quick tips for your house to make a great first impression.
An Appealing Front Door– the front door is often overlooked. But here’s something to consider: as your buyer waits for the agent to get the key from the lockbox and open the front door, their eyes are looking around to capture the exterior of your home. They’ll look at your neighbor’s house, your front yard, porch and driveway. I recommend you go outside of your home, and while facing your front door, turn around a full 360 degrees to get an idea of what the buyer will see during this one to five-minute wait.
Could your front door use some painting or a kick plate? Do you need a new doorbell? Upgrading to a new doorbell will typically cost less than $15, so invest a little and make it fancy. Add a doormat and a few potted plants or flowers on each side of your door in case you don’t already have any. Sweep the front porch area and use a power washer if it’s very dirty.
Add Plants – plants can add a bit of color to your outdoor area, so plant these in areas that look sparse. I’ve seen potted plants placed between the garage doors and at the front door. You can also place plants surrounding the mailbox, and at the bottom of the steps leading to the front porch. Of course, you can add plants or bushes around the perimeter of the house.
Something to consider before you purchase the plants is where you’ll place them. You don’t want to put that have flowers that attract a lot of bees by the front door. You also want to know how much care the plants will require. If you have a shaded area, make sure you don’t get a plant that needs full sun or vice versa. Also trim any bushes or trees and add fresh mulch or pine straw so your house looks like it’s cared for.
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Home first impressions – look like new
Light & Bright – a lot of people forget about the lights at their front door. However, purchasing new lights or replacing light bulbs and cleaning the glass in the outdoor lanterns goes a long way. The goal is to have the house look clean, maintained and cared for. If your house is on the market in the winter when it gets dark early, you may want to use a timer or turn your lights on when you leave for work in the morning. There’s nothing worse than having a 5:30pm showing start with the agent fumbling for the lockbox key in complete darkness.
Clean the Driveway & Sidewalk– Remove the clutter, leaves and dirt from your driveway and sidewalk by using a power washer. If you don’t own a power washer or can’t borrow one from your neighbor. I believe you can rent a machine from Home Depot. Once again, “clean” typically means “cared for”. You want to start out the visit with your home appearing cared for. When you power-wash, be extra careful about power-washing the elevation of the house. Once you get into power-washing siding, trim and windows you run the risk of washing off paint that was already beginning to peel. You don’t want the house to look like exterior needs to be repainted.
Mailbox – unless you’re in a new neighborhood that doesn’t have a mailbox in front of your houses (yes, USPS no longer delivers mail to your personal mailbox at your house if your home was built after 2015) then you most likely have a mailbox that could use a little TLC. If your mailbox is the standard black mailbox, go to Home Depot or Lowes and pick up some black spray paint to touch-up your mailbox. If you have brass lettering, look to see if they have any brass touch up in the store. Otherwise, look to see if you can use gold spray paint. If the weather is good you could also look at planting a few perennials or annuals. Placing these around the mailbox adds to curb appeal.
5 quick tips to make a great first impression
Hopefully these tips gave you some ideas on how to impress prospective buyers . These quick fixes are ones you can do this weekend to get your house “showcase ready”. You don’t have a spend a lot of money or time to make a great first impression. Leave a comment below.
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