We want to do whatever we can to make sure our home is up to scratch before we sell it on but for anyone that’s selling their home it’s not just about the image. Psychologists say that we make up our minds about someone within the first 15 seconds of meeting them, and so by this logic, the same is true when it comes to viewing a home. Even before they have stepped inside, it’s very likely that they will have made up their mind already so how can we do what we can to make those important first impressions, and then to build on those as the prospective buyer goes through your house?
The first thing you really need to think of doing is to get inside the head of a buyer. How do we do this? Thinking like them. Make sure that you take an objective view of your home and don’t forget people will have decided whether they want to view your home or not way before you receive a call from the realtor. In fact, it all begins before the buyer has even left their front door…
The Importance Of Previewing
It’s something that’s very easy to not think about until the very last minute when putting your house up for sale, but a lot of people will look at photos of your property on the realtor’s website, and from there they will decide whether your house is worth viewing or not. You may think that people won’t get a good idea of what the property is like just by looking at photos, but if they see something that catches their eye for the wrong reasons, then they’ll just click on to the next property and not bother with yours. So making your interiors look fantastic is an understatement because these interiors need to be photogenic as well!
So the first thing you need to do is to take pictures of the house, inside and out, and ask yourself if they jump out at a potential house buyer. Don’t forget that taking a picture of a home means that people can spend a lot of time poring over the fine details of those pictures. So you need to make sure that your house is up to code by hiring a home inspector to give your property the once over, but also to make sure that your home is more than superficially attractive. Once everything is camera ready make sure that you take pictures that show the home in a flattering angle and make sure every photo is well lit. There is nothing attractive about a dark picture where you can barely see anything, and it certainly won’t make a buyer want to view your property immediately.
Creating Sidewalk Appeal
If you were walking past your house randomly one day would you consider it to be an attractive property? This is why it’s important to get into the mindset of a buyer, and as you look at the property and take into accounts the aesthetics as well as the surrounding area, you need to ask yourself if a person would like to live here. If the answer is “no” you need to do everything you can to turn it into a “yes.” Look at your property and see what you could fix up immediately. Is there a broken fence or an ugly door? Going up the walkway from the sidewalk, look at everything that you can see, does it entice you to the front door? It’s important to remember that you need to make the walkway as neutral as possible and not force any of your own personality on it because you need to appeal to as wide a range of buyers as you can. So make sure that you declutter the area by moving the garbage or recycling containers out of the way, clear up your garden and take the time to pull up any weeds, cut the grass, or replace the grass with pebbles or modest ornaments.
And also take the time to clear out the gutters because this is something that leaps out at the viewer. Other ways to give an impression of being neutral is to do things to help the buyer to picture themselves coming home to your property. This includes things like moving your car out of the drive so they can imagine their car in it, cutting back on gaudy decorations, and make sure the style is as neutral as can be. By creating that all important sidewalk appeal you can swing the balance in your favor long before they’ve set foot in the door.
The Finer Points
While there is nothing you can do to make the area of your property any better, you could take advantage of doing some market research by looking at other houses that are similar to yours and identifying their good and bad points. Comparing other houses with yours can give you a better idea of what is severely lacking about your house, especially if you’re struggling to sell it. You may see that there’s something about your home that looks somewhat out of place in comparison to other properties in your neighborhood, and amazingly something as simple as the wrong color of a front door can make a whole world of difference to a viewer.
And if you’ve got to the point where someone has seen pictures of your property online and wants to have a look in person then, as you’ve done all the hard work in making the property look as good as it can, inside and out, you need to make sure that this image is maintained. Selling a home can take a long time and so it’s very easy to let standards slip after a while. If you have done everything right before the buyer sets foot into the property, then you won’t need to do much to make the property appealing as you’ve already done all the hard work. Hopefully, the right person has already decided that this is the place, that the reality matches with the images they’ve seen online and would like to buy the property.