Neglected First Impressions

I recently visited a home for sale, where the seller assumed that they didn’t need to maintain its appearances since the “for sale” sign was up. This is a common thought that serves no purpose other than to have the house sit on the market for months, have no interest from potential buyers and disengage the agent from really promoting and advertising the home, and selling it! Bottom line – can a seller afford to keep the house on the market when attention-to-detail is a minor expense?

If the front of the home, which should be pristine, is neglected what does it say about the inside of the home? The home, especially if vacant should shine! Buyer’s as well as agents, are not interested in cleaning up after a seller, unless it’s a fixer-upper and is being sold as such, but then that is a different story for another day. There’s such a competitive market out there can a buyer really afford to disregard appearances?

First impressions to consider:

  • Clean up dead plants, scattered leaves, dirt and trash, blown in with the wind that has gathered along the walkway and front door.
  • Overgrown branches, scraggly bushes and weeds must be cut back, trimmed and removed.
  • Wear and tear or paint peeling on the front door, should be stripped, painted or stained and if the door is heavily damaged replace it.
  • Front doorbell and lights – do they work? If not, replace or repair and clean the light fixture to rid of cobwebs and dirt.
  • Windows – should be clean and sparkly, and check the window screens are they tattered, damaged or not hanging properly? If so, get them fixed.
  • Snow – yes, it’s that time to think about it. Hire a neighbor kid to shovel the driveway, front walkway, porch and steps and scatter Snow Melt to prevent accidents.This will protect you as well as create an invitation to see the home. No one wants to tread through snow and ice to see a home. Make it as welcoming as possible.
  • Don’t have trees in your yard, but your neighbor does? Leaves know no boundaries – have them cleaned up especially if it’s on your property.
  • Unable to maintain the home yourself because of location? Then hire someone to do it for you.

Paying attention to these areas will encourage “drive-by” lookers to want to go inside, once inside make certain the house is just as pristine as the out. Again, no one wants to look at a home that has remnants of the previous occupant, or one that they will need to clean. Buyer’s want move-in ready homes. What does yours imply?

Do you know the impression your home is portraying? If you need help to identify what needs to be done, contact me, as a professional home stager, I’m trained to know what to look for and a third-party viewpoint is helpful. I can provide an assessment for both inside and out to help you sell your home quickly, whether it is occupied or vacant.

In this competitive seller’s market can you afford not to have a pristine first impression?


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