How to Make a Great First Impression When Selling Real Estate

Naples real estate staged beautifully

People make decisions in minutes, if not seconds, when meeting someone for the first time. After all, good first impressions are so important. The same is true when selling your home. Chances are, buyers have seen the photographs of your home online already and are hoping that the house at least meets the quality and condition they’ve already seen. It is your job as the seller to ensure that your buyers are not disappointed.

We know your home shows well in pictures because the buyers have agreed to have a look. So, how can we make sure they like what they see when seeing the home in person? Follow these tips and make your home live up to their expectations.

Spend Time Creating Curb Appeal

The exterior of your home is the first thing a buyer will see when pulling into the driveway and is an easy, inexpensive way to make a first impression.

  • Ensure your lawn is well-manicured at all times. Adding color through flowers can really make your home pop.
  • Clean your driveway! Pressure washing is an affordable way to make your home look well-maintained.
  • Get rid of anything that is in your yard that doesn’t need to be there. Do your children have a soccer goal? Any old patio furniture? Get rid of it!
  • De-cob your home. Cobwebs are certainly on the exterior of your home and they’re so easy to sweep away.
  • Wash those windows! Shiny windows may not get noticed but dirty windows sure will.

Declutter, Declutter and Declutter Again

  • Take items you aren’t actively using and box them up. After all, you’re moving!
  • Greatly reduce the amount of clothing in your walk-in closet. A packed closet will signal to the buyers that they might not have enough room for their clothes either.
  • Make your family room free of those items we all have for day-to-day living. Blankets on sofas, mail or magazines on end-tables and those sorts of items will make the room feel smaller.
  • Remove some pictures off of the wall. I’ve been in homes where entire hallways were covered in photos. It makes for great decorations but the odds of your buyer wanting your photos of the family reunion are pretty slim. Trim down the amount of clutter on the walls and patch/paint the holes.

If Something is Broken, now is the Time to Fix it.

  • Look up. Any stains on the ceilings from old roof leaks or plumbing malfunctions? Ensure that the source of the problem is fixed and then properly get rid of the evidence.
  • Fix sliding door rollers that aren’t functioning smoothly. Your buyers in Naples will certainly want to see the lanai and will walk out through a sliding glass door most likely. If those doors feel heavy or stuck in any way, they need to be addressed.
  • Fix that front door lock. If your front door is hard to open, your buyer will be standing there to see that it isn’t functioning. Call a locksmith and have the door repaired.
  • Chirp! Is the smoke detector beeping? Get up there and change out the battery! Your buyer isn’t used to it like you’ve become and it will subconsciously lead to them thinking the home is somewhat neglected.
  • This may not be “”broken”” but make your bed every day. A bedroom with a beautifully made bed shows so much better than a bed that is disheveled.
  • Carpet stains? Give the carpet cleaners a call. If the carpet is worn down, offering a credit at closing for flooring or simply replacing it is worth your money.

Appeal to the Buyer’s Senses

  • What’s that smell? Have a kitty? Just cooked some fish? Whatever is causing the odor needs to be remedied. Don’t spray air freshener to cover up the smell—actually get rid of it!
  • Buy daylight light bulbs to make your home light and bright!
  • Road noise? Your buyer really doesn’t want to hear the noise so make sure all windows and doors are closed so the road isn’t highlighted. You can turn on some soft music but this often leads buyers to get suspicious and notice the noise even more than without the music.

Update and Upgrade Where it Makes Sense

  • Change cabinet hardware if the existing hardware is dated. New knobs can make a world of difference in your kitchen and bathrooms and it is very cheap to do.
  • Need some fresh paint? Look above your stove. Is the wall stained from cooking? A gallon of paint is very cheap and will make a big difference in your buyer’s eyes.
  • One of my pet peeves is plastic that is discolored. Look at light cans, electrical outlet covers and light switch plates. If they’ve turned off-white in any way, change them!

What Else Should you do?

If you need any help getting your home ready to sell, please get in touch!

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