First impressions are a big deal. We’ve all been on a first date. You do your hair, you wear your new shoes, you check to make sure you don’t have anything in your teeth. These are all things that we do to make a good first impression. Well, when it comes to selling your home, it is kind of like putting it on the dating market. You want to make sure that you’re doing everything to make a good first impression with all of our prospects. Here are 10 helpful tips from the folks at Daybreak:
1. Declutter/depersonalize/accessorize- First things first: Remove all clutter! Yes, the 214 baby toys are clutter, as are cat and dog toys, books, magazines, papers, refrigerator magnets, unfolded laundry. You get the point. You want your house in the best shape to sell it fast, so make it look organized and clean. Remove the personal pictures in your home and clean out your closets to make them appear larger. If you need to, start packing away your seasonal clothes. Now is the perfect time to clean out those closets and donate unwanted items to those who really need them. You may even consider storing those boxes of year books and children’s clothing in an off-site storage facility or relative’s basement. Once you have removed all the clutter you may think your house looks empty. A few well placed accessories (Odd numbers are preferable) will do wonders. When decorating, imagine a triangle and place objects at each point.
2. Create curb appeal- The outside of your home is the first thing a potential buyer will see, so make sure it’s in tip top shape. Mow the lawn, hose down the walk ways, remove any cobwebs, clean the front door, and yes wash the windows. To add a little wow factor, plant some flowers and purchase a new welcome mat.
3. Fix it up and Clean it up- Make any repairs you have been putting off, as well as recaulking the shower areas and replacing any burnt out light bulbs (make sure darker areas in your home show well by selecting a bulb with the appropriate wattage) don’t forget to fill in any nail holes, wipe down the window sills, clean the oven (yes, they will look), bleach sinks and bathtubs, dust the blinds, clean the windows and last, but one never to forget…always make the beds before you leave.
4. Freshen up- Let some air in. Open the windows for at least 10 minutes to eliminate any stuffiness. Cut up a lemon and run it through the garbage disposal to freshen up the kitchen, and add bleach to all the toilets. Invest in a scent burner and chose a scent like chocolate chip cookies or fresh apples, it will entice buyers.
5. Let there be light! Open the drapes and blinds and let the sun shine in. If you have a particularly dark room, purchase a floor lamp that will bounce light off the ceiling.
6. Bring the outside in- Grab your garden sheers and go to town. Clip fresh cut flowers, twigs, fern stems, dried leaves, hand picked fruit, you name it. You will be amazed at how fresh and clean your house looks (and smells) by utilizing what you have in your own backyard.
7. Play that funky music– Playing soft jazz can help create a soothing environment and camouflage neighbor and traffic noise.
8. Create groupies- A common misconception is that a room looks bigger if all the furniture is pushed up against the walls. To create a more inviting space, float the furniture away from the walls and create a cozy conversation area.
9. Be Switzerland– Keep it neutral. Painting a room a fresh neutral color will help tone down any dated features in the space. Bold walls have a way of reducing offers and price, so it’s best to go with neutrals. If you have any rooms with questionable colors, invest in a gallon of Roasted Sesame Seed or Oklahoma Wheat paint and get painting!
10. Color me beautiful – Purchase some new throw pillows for couches and beds to freshen up the area. Get creative with art work: frame Campbell soup labels for kitchen art work, frame pretty wallpaper for art work in the living room, put some toothbrushes in a shadowbox for fun bathroom artwork.
Remember you can only make one first impression on buyers…make it your best!