Eight Seconds……

That’s all it takes for most buyers to form a first opinion of yur house.  It is an emotional decision that is made pretty quickly.  Not much different from the process of deciding whether or not you are attracted to someone when you are in dating mode.

So when I hear sellers tell me, “They should be able to look past the deferred maintenance, fushia colorer wallpaper, holes in the floor, (insert any other offense to the sensibilities here), it tells me  they have forgotten what that emotional component of buying a house fells like. And that also tells me it’s going to be a challenging sale!

Imagine carrying that frame of mind over to the dating world and saying “They should be able to see past the fact that I haven’t washed my hair, ironed my clothes, picked the spinach out of my teeth, etc.  and see me for the solid person I am.”  Doesn’t work in the dating world and doesn’t work in selling houses.   Do you want to attract maybe one strange character who goes for that stuff or do you want to make yourself attractive to as great a pool of suitors as possible?

SO, the basics of getting ready for your speed dating session with buyers otherwise known as the Open House:

First Impressons

Buyers are going to judge your house from the pictures online and then what they see in a drive-by.   Curb appeal is vital.  Keep the lawn mowed and the shrubs trimmed, paint if needed, mulch, put out flower pots or plant flowers.  A new doormat and new mailbox makes the whole house seem newer.

Clean Up!

Clean every room from top to bottom, clean out closets and cabinets. Throw out junk that is not moving to the next house with you.  Look at your home with a critical eye.  If paint is chipping, fix it.  If there are cracks in walls, rusty baseboard, etc. take care of it.

De-clutter and De-personalize – Buyers want to imagine themselves living in your space.

Brighten Up – Open Windows, pull up shades, put in bright bulbs.  Make sure no bulbs are out.

Basically, walk through the whole house and look at it as if you were a buyer looking at it for the first time.  Be honest with yourself.   Is it clean, bright, pretty?  Does it smell nice?  Are there no obvious signs of disrepair or deferred maintenance?    As a Realtor, this is what I do.  I look up at the ceiling, down at the baseboards, I scan over everything and what I notice or give you advice on – trust me, the buyers will notice too.    Remember – Feedback is a gift – a chance to make improvements that are going to get your house sold.  And better to hear it from me before your house goes on the market than to hear it from buyers!


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