It takes a homebuyer less than three minutes to form a first impression of your house. This is about the amount of time it takes them to get out of their car, walk across the driveway, open the door, and begin looking around the main living areas. If you want to increase your chances of leaving a positive first impression and getting a full-price offer, you need to pay careful attention to the image you’re conveying.
11 Tips for Making a Positive First Impression
The home buying process is highly emotional – both for buyers and sellers. When you put your house on the market, you must be prepared to push your emotional attachments to the side and adopt the mindset of a marketer or advertiser.
Your goal is to show your house in the best light possible, which means nailing the first impression. The following tips will help you get off on the right foot.
- Get Listing Photos Rights
Curb appeal is everything in the home buying process. And since 88 percent of homebuyers begin the process online these days, you need to pay careful attention to your listing photos.
“Find the best time of day to shoot each room, avoiding too much sunlight, which will give the photo a glow effect,” agent Jennifer Ames says. “Overcast days are often the best time for a photo shoot.”
- Touch Up Landscaping
In terms of curb appeal, landscaping is also very important. For just a few hundred dollars, you can greatly enhance the appeal of your property. The best ways to spend your time and money are: pulling weeds, trimming shrubs, raking leaves/debris, pressure washing surfaces, and planting fresh flowers.
- Make the House Smell Good
After you’ve lived in your house for a few years, you become numb to the way it smells – good or bad. However, when someone walks into your home, this is one of the very first things they notice.
One small, yet important thing you can do is make your house smell good. Using candles, essential oils, or the old fresh-baked cookie trick, you can appeal to a prospective buyer’s sense of smell.
- Pay Attention to Flooring
Naturally, your eyes gravitate towards the ground when you walk into a house. Keeping this in mind, pay attention to the flooring in your home. If your carpet is stained and worn, replacing the carpet might be a cost-effective decision. If the hardwood is scratched, having it sanded down, stained, and polished will go a long way towards enhancing a buyer’s first impression. If nothing else, make sure your floors are swept, vacuumed, and free of pet hair, dust, and debris.
- Use Neutral Colors
You might have an eccentric style, but the chances that a prospective buyer shares your same tastes are quite low. By and large, most people like neutral color palettes.
If your house has any brightly colored rooms, it would be smart to have them repainted. You can do it yourself or pay a professional to handle it for a couple hundred dollars. Either way, it’s money well spent.
- Remove Clutter
Clutter is one of the biggest turnoffs for would-be buyers. Whether it’s magazines on end tables, cooking utensils on the kitchen counter, or tools scattered throughout the garage, clutter does you no favors.
You’ll have to declutter when you move out anyway, so why not do it before you put the house on the market? Box up the things you want to keep, toss the trash, and donate the items you’re no longer interested in. It’ll take some time, but you’ll be glad you did it.
- Depersonalize Your Home
As you declutter your house, make sure you’re also depersonalizing it. Contrary to popular belief, prospective buyers don’t want to see your family pictures and personal memories.
“You want to make it as easy as possible for the buyers to envision themselves coming home to your house every day. So, remove anything that could act as a barrier to their imagination,” Movoto advises. “If possible, move your car so they can picture their own car in the drive. And if you have any decorations in your front garden make sure they could be of everyone’s tastes. Sorry, but those cute gnomes have to go. Make the styling neutral and fresh and clean.”
- Be Intentional With Lighting
Visually, you want your house to be bright. Open the windows, turn on the lights, and use mirrors to reflect light in smaller spaces. Adequate lighting makes a home feel big and spacious – something that most buyers are looking for.
- Consider Professional Staging
If your furniture is particularly dated, or you simply don’t have time to deal with staging your home for sale, consider hiring a professional service. Professional staging has been shown to increase a home’s sales price as much as 10 percent in some cases. That’s a pretty decent ROI!
- Send your Pets to the Spa
You don’t hang around your house when prospective buyers come to see it, so why should your pets? Nobody wants to deal with a barking dog or defensive cat when they’re trying to see your home. Send the pets away for the day and people will have a better first impression.
- Hire the Right Agent
While your house will stand on its own merit, having a personable agent who understands the intricacies of your home will certainly help. By hiring the right agent, you can ensure nothing goes unnoticed and that prospective buyers see everything the house has to offer.
Let Green Residential Sell Your House
Even in a hot market like Houston, there’s more to selling a house than placing a for-sale sign in the front yard and fielding offers. If you want to get a full-price offer and maximize your ROI, you must be strategic with how you present your home to prospective buyers.
When you work with one of our Green Residential agents, you get access to experienced, local agents who know the area and can facilitate a smooth, effortless transaction.
For more information – or to speak with one of our agents – please contact us today!