Create a good first impression when selling your home

Photo by Metro Service
Keep areas like the kitchen clutter free and decorate the interior of your home with a common theme.

■ Metro Service

The sentiment “don’t judge a book by its cover” is common knowledge, but isn’t always heeded. Sometimes first impressions do matter. When it comes to selling their homes, homeowners should remember this adage as they prepare their homes for prospective buyers.
Homeowners who want to make their properties stand out can take the following steps:

De-personalize the home
Homeowners fill their spaces with family photos, heirlooms, personal interests, and other conversation pieces. Prospective buyers may not be able to see past personal belongings and may even be distracted by them. For example, buyers who have strong beliefs about animal welfare may not buy a home displaying hunting trophies. Remove personalized items where possible, replacing them with generic items.

Improve the exterior
HGTV says that curb appeal is crucial to making a strong first impression. A messy or lackluster landscape can turn buyers away even before they reach the front door. Mow the lawn and make sure shrubbery has been trimmed. Seasonal potted flowers and plants can help make the house look polished. Repair cracks or damaged walkways, and consider a fresh coat of paint on trim around windows and doors. Pressure-wash if necessary.

Put things in storage
Rent a storage unit to house items that can make a home appear cluttered. Clean out closets and cabinets, so that when buyers snoop during appointments or open houses they see orderly storage areas. If closets are brimming with stuff, buyers may assume the house doesn’t have enough storage space and move on.

Make it light and bright
Open up all of the drapes and blinds, and turn on overhead lights so the house is well-lit. Add table lamps or other fixtures to especially dim rooms.

Create a hotel experience
Forbes suggests making bathrooms look like a spa. Stack a few pretty washcloths tied with ribbon, add some scented candles and faux plants, and buy bath mats and towels in coordinating tones. Remove extraneous items from kitchen counters and replace them with vases of flowers. In addition, set up dining spaces as if one were sitting down to a meal and ensure appliances are sparkling clean.

Use common “scents”
Skip the fish, bacon, or other aromatic meals for a few days, as such foods can leave lingering aromas. Baked goods, vanilla, and cinnamon might make for more appealing scents.

Making a home sell fast involves preparation and the knowledge that buyers are often greatly influenced by their first impressions.

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