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How to Make First Impressions Count When Selling Your Home

Phi Spencer

By Phil Spencer

It’s often said that people make up their mind whether they’re going to buy your home within seconds of walking through the door. I’m not certain this is always the case but it’s definitely true that first impressions count when selling your home. Here are a few vital tips for making the best first impression to potential buyers.

Why did you buy your home?

The aspects which attract (or repel buyers) will be the same that you liked when you bought the property. Try to remember what helped convince you to buy. You have to be sure that potential buyers can see the space of your home. Make it easy for them to envisage themselves living there.

Seek advice from your agent

If asked to do so, most agents will give you tips on how to create a great initial impact, these are worth paying attention to. Overall, your house needs to feel as light, clean, spacious and cared for as possible.

How can I make the best first impression?

Here’s some vital advice for creating the best possible impact on a potential buyer when selling your home.

Clean and sweep your driveway

Make sure the very first impression is a good one by ensuring you have a clean, swept drive or path and a bright, clean and possibly freshly painted front door.

What can you smell?

There are many fables about the smell of fresh bread helping to sell a property but, while I’m not sure this is true, a bad smell can certainly put people off. You may be used to pet or refuse odours but someone viewing the property will not. Open windows and use subtle air fresheners or diffusers where relevant. Dog beds and cat hair smell - fact!

Take the dog for a walk

You may love your pets but potential buyers may not. I would suggest making sure they are not in the house whilst viewings are going on.

Let the agent do their job

Similarly, I advise you leave the property while the agent is showing people round. More often than not, property vendors show the minute detail of a property (which may be important to them) though I find buying decisions usually hinge on the ‘bigger picture’. The agent should find it easier to allow people viewing your home to quietly absorb what they are looking at if you aren’t there. If they are serious and come back for a second viewing, it might help to meet at that stage.

Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes

Try and view your property through the eyes of a buyer. Is there any damage you’ve grown used to? Scuffs that you no longer notice? Consider investing in a painter & decorator to really breathe some new life into your property. A lick of paint here and there can really make a difference to a room that you haven’t managed to fully refurbish yet.

Make some space

If you’re moving because you’ve run out of space, try and move as much clutter into storage as you can. You want to give a feeling of space. Your possessions can be distracting and can make your home feel smaller than it actually is.

Get cleaning

Cleaning and tidying is an obvious one but it needs to be said. Make the beds, draw back the curtains and throw open the windows. People like to flush toilets and check water pressure so make sure your sinks, baths and taps are given a good clean before you start marketing your home. Remember, this is your most valuable asset – show it off in all its glory and get a professional cleaners service in if you need to. Everything has to gleam and shine!

Make it less personal

Depersonalising a property is something that is always recommended. I don’t think it’s essential but it can help make a space look less full. Try and cut down the amount of kids’ toys spilling out of drawers, family photographs on show and surface clutter wherever possible.

Pay attention to the garden

Regardless of the time of year, try to make any outdoor space look as good as it can. Make sure big toys (like trampolines or slides) are removed or set aside as they can really dominate a garden. Sweep patios, weed flowerbeds and mow the lawn. It’s important to let people imagine how this space could be used as an extension of the living space. Buy ready grown plants and flowers from a garden centre for the month of viewings, this gives colour and interest in a very cost effective way.

You don’t get a second chance to make the best first impression

You only get one chance to make the best first impression. It doesn’t matter how much time or money you’ve spent on DIY to make the interior look amazing, if the exterior isn’t up to scratch potential purchasers may do a ‘drive by’ and decide not to book a viewing.

Should I invest in making my property appealing to buyers?

Don’t spend thousands of pounds unless you really believe it will help you increase the sale value of your home, but a refresh can often help. The key is to take the time to showcase your property at its very best and most ‘neutral’ in order to appeal to the widest possible audience. You can undertake the task yourself or enlist some help from local services:

  • For local, reputable handyman services click here 
  • Get quotes to refresh tired decor and paintwork here
  • For local cleaners to give your home a deep clean click here
  • Find local gardeners and get your gardening quotes here

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