Making a good first impression can mean
the difference between receiving serious offers for your home or being subjected
to months of lookie-loos dropping by but never buying.
How can you ensure that your home will
make the best impression possible Here are six tips for savvy home sellers:
1. Focus on curb appeal. The
outside of your house can be the source of a very good first impression. Keep
the grass well-watered and mowed. Have your trees trimmed. Cut back overgrowth.
Plant some blooming flowers. Store toys, bicycles, roller-skates, gardening
equipment and the like out of sight. Have at least the front of your house and
the trim painted, if necessary. Sweep the porch and the front walkway. After
dark, turn on your front porch light and any other exterior lighting.
2. Clear out the clutter. Real
estate agents say buyers won't purchase a home they can't see. If your home has
too much furniture, overflowing closets, crowded kitchen and bathroom
countertops or lots of family photos or collectibles on display, potential
buyers won't be able to see your home. Get rid of anything you don't need or
use. Fill up your garage or rent some off-site storage space if that's what it
takes to clear out your home.
3. Use your nose. Many people are
oblivious to scents, but others are extremely sensitive to offensive odors. To
eliminate bad smells, bathe your pets, freshen the cat litter box frequently,
shampoo your carpets, dry clean your drapes, and empty trash cans, recycling
bins and ash trays. Place open boxes of baking soda in smell-prone areas, and
refrain from cooking fish or strong-smelling foods. Introduce pleasing smells by
placing flowers or potpourri in your home and using air fresheners. Baking a
fresh or frozen pie or some other fragrant treat is another common tactic.
4. Make all necessary repairs.
Buyers expect everything in their new home to operate safely and properly.
Picky buyers definitely will notice-and likely magnify -- minor maintenance
problems you've ignored for months or even years. Leaky faucets, burned-out
light bulbs, painted-shut or broken windows, inoperable appliances and the like
should be fixed before you put your home on the market. These repairs may seem
small, but left undone they can lead buyers to question whether you've taken
good care of your home.
5. Introduce lifestyle accessories
and make your home as comfortable and attractive as possible. Set the dining
room table with your best dishes. Put out your only-for-company towels. Make up
the spare bed. Hang some fresh curtains. Put some logs in the fireplace. Use
6. Get a buyer's-eye view. Walk
up to your home and pretend you've never seen it before. What do you notice How
do you feel about what you see Does the home seem inviting Well-maintained
Would you want to buy this home Your answer should be an enthusiastic
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