Tuesday, April 28, 2009

First Impressions

"You never get a second chance to make a first impression."

Spare me the cliche, right? Or maybe not. Cliches get to be cliche because there is a strong grain of truth in them. This one is no different.

First impressions matter. It is human nature to judge, and most people judge very quickly. Many people will decide to buy a home after spending less than 20 minutes in it. Curb appeal is important because people will judge a home's interior based upon how it looks from the street as they drive by.

Fair or not, those are facts.

The feeling that a buyer gets upon opening the door and walking in for the first time is one thing that we never get a second chance at. They will judge the entire home based upon what they see and feel in those first few moments. Knowing this, pay attention to how a buyer enters your home.

What door are you having realtors and buyers enter through? Sometimes, sellers will have us enter through a back door, garage or a side door because it is easier for them to have the lockbox there. It may be easier, but is it the best place for a buyer to enter and fall in the love with your home?

Think about the emotions evoked as someone walks up to the entrance. If you were a buyer, how would it feel to walk up the utilitarian back entrance looking at the kids bikes and toys under the staircase compared to walking up the wide front stairs and porch while looking at the blooming flowers in the front gardens?

Does your door need a coat of paint? What is the condition of your doorknob? A rattling, loose doorknob and a shabby front door give the buyer the idea that the house has not been well maintained and needs work, even if it is not true.

What greets the buyers inside the home? If you bring the buyer in through the garage or back, they might be greeted with a view of your mudroom or laundry room. Compare this to the feeling of walking in your foyer and front entrance. Which is a better first impression?

Try to put yourself into the shoes of the buyer as you get ready to sell your home. Ask your realtor for help on creating a better first impression. It can be hard to look at our homes through new eyes, but give it a try. It can help your home show better and sell faster.

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