Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How to make a great first impression inside and out

No, I am not talking about a first date! But, just like in dating, the first impression of your home is a lasting one. Stats show that it takes less than eight seconds for buyers to make up their mind if they are interested in a house or not when perusing the listings online. Eight short little seconds to make a great first impression! We'll all seen some horrendous examples of photos that are posted online. Not to hurt anyone's feelings, here is a typical mistake of a poor photo. I have used my kitchen as an example:

Lighting is key. A darkened room will look even darker in a photo. Especially if the paint is a dark color. Turn on all the lights! Use flashes!

So what are your eyes drawn to first in this photo? The clutter! Even something as small as refrigerator magnets will draw your eyes to the clutter instead of the vastness of the kitchen space. In the photo above, all you see is the cards on the fridge door and the cereal boxes on top of it!

On the flip side, here are some great examples of photos that make you want to visit a house:
Clean lines with very little personal items. Correct use of a wide angle lens, and using flashes! And, in my case, having professionals do the work for me to get amazing results.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and the impression they make better be a good one, or else it will be very hard to change that impression later on. Although most people concentrate on cleaning up and de-cluttering the living space inside, many do not pay enough attention to their house's "curb appeal". You need to make sure that when potential buyers drive by your house, that it is as inviting as possible. What are some easy ways to improve curb appeal without spending a lot of money? Try these ideas:
1) Trim all bushes and shrubbery in the yard. make sure they aren't blocking any windows.
2) Clear any debris/weeds from the driveway and walkways.
3) Keep grass trimmed.
4) Make sure front porch and/or stairs are in good repair. Sometimes, just a coat of stain on a weathered wood porch can make a world of difference.
5) Update porch and front door lighting. Is your light fixture outside dating from the 50s? It might be time to change it to something more modern. Don't want to spend a lot of money? The Re-Store is a great place to find bargains.

As a real estate agent, it is my job to present your house to all potential buyers on its "best behavior". Even when it means delaying putting the house on the market by one or two weeks, that time is definitely not lost. It will bring in more buyers and ultimately will result in a quicker sale for a better price.

Have any ideas on how to improve your home's curb appeal? Leave a comment! I love to have feedback and share ideas.