One Chance For a First Impression
Are you thinking about selling your home? You only have one chance for a first impression even if the real estate market seems strong for homeowners these days. Is there a method to the madness that will attract the most number of buyers who will pay the highest price for your home?
The answer is YES! Besides the typical things you read about like, get inspections reports, de-clutter your closets, fix that leaky toilet, and paint those scuffed walls there is something more important, which seems missed by home sellers.
That is the “curb appeal” of your home. It’s the first thing a buyer sees when viewing your home. And buyers see it all…mailbox secured to their post, house numbers visible, and lawns mowed and flowers blooming.
The first most important item is to make sure to give attention to the front door. Remodeling magazine says a solid front door with new hardware will bring a higher return on your money spent than any other item. It gives the true dynamics of the home, such as its’ sturdiness and soundness. If the front door looks good, functions properly and gives the home buyer a sense of security you will have conquered the biggest drawback most buyers see when approaching their new home.
During the walk to the front door the potential home buyer will also be noticing the driveway and walkways. If the driveway has cracks or has chunks of concrete missing it would be advisable to fill all holes and fill in cracks. If a re-surface is out of the question because of cost, a good cleaning and use of a patching compound may do the trick. A quick trip to the hardware store can offer you some good answers to your particular issues that need attention.
Once the buyer reaches the house s/he will see the front porch. The front porch is an iconic symbol in America. So take advantage of this and play to the emotions of the front porch. If you can, install an Adirondack swing for around $300. A bench or a place to sit is also a good idea as people think taking off your boots on the porch is a great idea. Take advantage of this emotional trigger and it will bring you a bountiful return.
Windows are another item that needs a homeowner’s attention before putting their home on the market for sale. Clean them well including the screens, and both inside and out. Make them shine. If you can, add flower boxes or some shutters to add warmth and charm. Paint them a color that will compliment the interior color scheme. If you don’t have the ability to mix and match color then hire a professional colorist for about $75. You won’t be disappointed and the buyers will appreciate it.
If the garage door is facing the front of the house special attention too. If the garage door is old, dinged up, or in need of paint you may want to consider replacing it with a light-weight metal door. A good metal one-car garage door should run under $800 installed. A new garage door works smoothly and metal ones are light weight and easy to use without a garage door opener. This will save the cost for an electrician and City, County permit fees.
Finally, exterior lighting is important for a good first impression. They now have solar and battery operated fixtures that are easily installed. The exterior light statically located gives a warm feeling and a sense of security that speak to the home buyer. My experiences show that any serious home buyer will at least drive by the home they want to put an offer on during the evening hours. This way they get a feel for the neighborhood during different times, day or night.
Don’t forget this is a very happy time for the home buyer and s/he usually wants to enjoy their new home even before it is theirs. Embrace their excitement it’s a fun time for all and it’s normal behavior.
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