Sellers take note: If you don’t look through the eyes of a buyer when walking into your Windsor house for sale, you are missing a huge opportunity that can cost you valuable time and money.
Walking through as many homes as we do on a given day, it is amazing the number of missed chances sellers have created for themselves because they didn’t think from a buyer’s perspective. It may sound crazy, but even hopping into the car and driving into your driveway, look at your property from all angles and through fresh eyes and see what buyers are going to see. What are your impressions?
However, as mentioned in a previous blog this month, there are some repairs that are not necessary and won’t make a difference in your home sale. And when you can save money, then you should.
For example, we have discussed landscaping: Don’t go overboard, but just keep your lawn and bushes neatly trimmed. Powerwash? If the house is not in desperate need, then don’t do it. While the majority of contractors would do a good job, you never know if you will hire someone who will make your house look worse which will then cost you much more to correct the problem.
Don’t forget: If a buyer is seeing your house in the evening or dusk, make your home look appealing and welcoming and ensure that the exterior is well illuminated and the address is visible. More important, make sure paths and walkways are clear of snow and ice.
Again, think of the buyer as your guest and prepare your home as you would for a VIP.
Once inside, focus on the entry way. Does clutter greet them or a welcoming first impression? Remember, when the real estate agent opens the door a buyer will immediately know if the home is worth considering. They will get their first look and their first smell. Yes, buyers are keenly sensitive to smells when walking into a house. So ask yourself:
1. When I open the door, what is it the buyer will see?
2. What is the condition of the entry? Does it look run down? Put together?
3. Does the entry make the buyer want to continue to see the rest of the house, or head out the door?
4. Does my home smell like last night’s fish dinner? Or does it smell fresh, clean and welcoming. But make sure you don’t go overboard on fragrance as that can do more harm than good, especially if the buyer suffers from allergies.
So now that your buyer is inside, where do they concentrate? Usually buyers look straight ahead, then they look up. If you have a ceiling and it needs paint, then by all means paint. But chances are it may only need a light cleaning. If you have a chandelier, make sure it’s spotlessly clean and shines.
Buyers will then look at the floor. While coverings do not need to be new, they must be clean. Hire a professional carpet cleaner if necessary. Consider this: buyers would prefer a worn carpet that is clean than a used carpet that is dirty.
Now that the buyers have seen the outside of your home as well as your entry way, the have a very good idea if your property will be on their short list. First impressions are so valuable because it instantly creates a trust issue. If your home is spotless, well cared for and prepared for buyers, then they in turn will know that you take your home seriously and you are taking them seriously. The chance that they will view your home with a good open mind has increased ten-fold.
So if you want to make the first impression the last impression, then focus on the top ten problems we see as real estate agents are usually deal breakers:
1. Dogs meeting you at the driveway or front door.
2. Strong, offensive odors.
3. Dimly lit exterior and entry way.
4. Bugs, spiders, insects that have not been swept and surrounding front door.
5. Poor curb appeal.
6. Difficult to walk to front door due to snow, ice or toys in the pathway or driveway.
All of the above can be corrected without spending a lot of money. Do it now before you put your home on the market. Not only that, if your home develops a reputation as difficult to show, then agents won’t make an appointment to show their clients. They don’t want to waste their time or show their buyers anything that isn’t worthy of their consideration.