When preparing to show your home to prospective buyers, remember that first impressions make or break a sale. Prospective buyers viewing houses or condos for sale will often make their decision within the first 5 minutes. By creating an optimal and beautiful first impression of your property, you can be sure to get the highest possible offers and sell your home quickly.

A key tip to ensuring an ideal first impression is to remove all clutter. Achieving a decluttered effect is as easy as removing the items that identify who you are and your interests. Hide or stow away personal knick knacks, photographs, and refrigerator magnets. When these items are left lying around, buyers will be too distracted by them. They will end thinking about irrelevant things, like how cute your nephew’s pictures are, instead of focusing on the features of your home. Cleaning and beautifying your home benefits the buyer as well because they get a more accurate picture of the house itself, not just your belongings.

Even if you indicate to prospective buyers that features will be altered, they will still be judging based on what they see that day, so its important to optimize presentation. For example, if your carpets have stains in high-traffic areas, indicating to buyers that the carpets will be cleaned will not clear this image from their mind. Clean the carpet as much as possible before the viewing. In today’s market of excess residential real estate, its essential to present your home in its best condition for every buyer. That said, the following serves as a guideline for steps to take before a showing:

  • Apply fresh paint as needed on your front door, fence, and outside trim.
  • Remove weeds and yard clutter.
  • Freshly mow and trim landscaping.
  • Wash outside walls, porches, and sidewalks to clean off dirt and stains.
  • Clear clutter and excess furniture from rooms and walls. This will give the appearance of a larger, more open home.
  • Remove magnets from the refrigerator and odd knick knacks from shelves and counters.
  • Clean and repair fixtures and hinges. Make sure doors are smooth, not squeaky, and that handles are tightly fixed. Prospective buyers often notice the smallest of defects in a home.
  • Vaccum and shampoo carpet thoroughly, especially if you have pets.
  • Dust and remove cobwebs from ceilings and light fixtures. Many prospective buyers will look up.
  • Present a bright home by turning on lights and opening drapes.
  • Light a scented candle or air freshener with a comforting scent.

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This is filed under Home Selling.

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