Even in the San Juan Islands, our island lives can be hectic at times, leaving our homes a little jumbled. We look past the mountain of footwear in the corner of our mudroom, an exquisite collection of beach finds adorning window, or the magnificent compost along our driveway, but buyers will not.
According to Psychological Science, the Princeton psychologists found “it takes a tenth of a second to form an impression,” and from Science Of People, “our first impressions of people are 75% accurate.” Houses are not people, but house hunting can feel a little like dating. Instead of seeing a well-designed open floor plan and spacious 2-car garage with storage for both cars and kayaks, disorder and unfinished projects leave buyers feeling cramped, uncomfortable, and blocked from seeing their best life in your home.
The good news, with a little work, you can make your home’s first impression more appealing, give your home an edge over the competition and make any buyer say “YES.”
1. PREVIEW PHOTO INVENTORY
To understand your home’s current first impression, and to discover where a little attention is needed, take a preview inventory with photos of your home inside and out. Then ask yourself, friends, and family, “what do you see?” Tips to getting the best preview photos of your home include taking lots of pictures, maximize natural light shooting on a sunny day, remove outside screens for the photoshoot (saved out of sight for the new owners) and turn off your flash. For more tips on the best photos of your home, visit houzz.com/ideabooks/How-to-Photograph-Your-House on Houzz.com.
2. CURB APPEAL – SETS EXPECTATIONS
Your home’s exterior and landscaping speak volumes as to what buyers may find inside. Keeping your yard clipped or trimmed, looking its best with weeded beds, a tidy driveway, clean and pressure wash siding, decking, and windows with all equipment organized and tucked away can result in impressive ROI.
3. DECLUTTER, ORGANIZE & DEPERSONALIZE
Disorganization and clutter obstruct buyers from seeing the true beauty and possibilities of your home. Additionally, a house with too much personalization acts as a barrier to buyers envisioning themselves coming home every day. Spend a day or two of deep cleaning, reorganization, and depersonalizing before your first showing; possibly a few more days for some of us. Any time spent creating the feeling of space and a neutral canvas throughout your home is time well spent and ensures a buyer’s first impression is positive, allowing them to appreciate your home’s true potential and their life in it. View Realtor.com/advice/sell/make-fantastic-first-impression-selling-home/ for more tips on decluttering for dazzling first impressions at Realtor.com®.
4. UNFINISHED and NEEDED REPAIRS
We all have a to-do list of minor unfinished projects and repairs. Before you put your home on the market, optimize sale proceeds and your home’s first impression with buyers by checking off that list. Patch holes, repaint and refinish if needed, check and repair loose door handles or cabinet hinges, as well as touch up the caulking around tubs and sinks.
5. SET THE MOOD
Don’t forget to check all your lighting and replace any burnt bulbs. Then use lighting, soft neutral music and deodorize, neutralize and freshen with natural aromas to say, “This Home Is The One!” For more strategies on setting the mood for sold, visit Homelight.com/blog/tips-for-showing-your-house/ at Homelight.com®.
First impressions are no more important on a first date than they are when selling your home. Should you have questions about the value of your home, our market, or what steps you should take for the best return on your investment, please shoot us a call. We are here to help!
Cheers to Sold – Wally