You know what they say about first impressions…you’ll never get a second chance to make a great first impression. Psychologists say that we make up our minds about a person within the first fifteen seconds of meeting someone new. These impressions last and nowhere is this more evident than in real estate.
Prospective buyers are doing the very same thing with your house, especially in a red-hot/booming real estate market. There is a high probability that a prospective buyer will make up their mind even before walking through your front door. Let’s face it, a buyer wants to see their future from the moment they pull up to your property and you want them to feel an emotional connection to your home. It really starts as they are driving down the street to your home and the first thing, they notice is the “curb appeal”. It’s true, curb appeal helps sell a home quicker and equates to more money for the seller.
While their realtor is trying to unlock the lockbox on your front door, the buyer is allotted the time to look around and inspect the surroundings. Basically, they are sizing up your home and making split-second decisions about whether it’s worth continuing to invest more time in your home or jump back in the car and see the next home on the realtor’s list.
I always tell my sellers prior to listing a property to “break up with their home emotionally” and pretend they are a prospective buyer by completing a simple exercise. Pull up to your home as if you were a prospective buyer and walk the walk of the buyer. From getting out of the car and walking up the path to the front door really take in and notice the surroundings. Is it clean and free of debris? Are plants/bushes/shrubs trimmed? Is the front door clean and secure? Does it feel warm and welcoming? It is amazing when they do this simple exercise what they begin to see.
Here are a few inexpensive tips to ensure your home is ready to make that first great impression!
Pressure washing can give the exterior of your home a fresh new appeal. Does the walkway need a good power wash to remove dirt, mold, stains, etc.? Removing dust and bugs off light fixtures, windows and especially front doors will show buyers that your home has been well maintained.
Make sure that the beds are weeded, trimmed and replace any dead or dying plants. Mulch is a great inexpensive fix to create a quick facelift to your yard. Even purchasing just two potted plants and placing them on each side of the entryway can make a great first impression. Also, make sure your yard is free of debris.
Switch out the light fixture
Are the light fixtures outdated or look like they have seen better days due to damage from dirt, bugs, or weather? Upgrading these are usually inexpensive and will make a big difference. If your front door area doesn’t currently have lights, I would strongly suggest investing in one. A well-lit entryway can boost curb appeal and could offer a great return on your investment.
Keep it simple, and not personal. Stick to a classical neutral or black mat. Remember we want the buyer to feel your home is saying, “Welcome! This could be your future home!”
Spruce up the front door
Let’s face it, front doors endure a lot of wear and tear over the years from all the elements. Take some time to inspect your front door but be sure to look at it with a buyer’s set of eyes. Does it need to be repainted? Is it weathered? Does the hardware look good without rust or deterioration? If so, consider repainting and/or replacing hardware. Most importantly, however, is whether the door is secure. If not, replacing an unsecure, deteriorating door is well worth the investment.
So, with these few simple tips in this hot real estate market, you can rest assured that when that buyer pulls into your driveway and walks the walk, they are not just opening the front door, but they are entering the gateway of their future home.