Can you believe that? Just 7 seconds for a buyer to decide whether or not they even want to learn more about your home. So what impression is your home giving? In a recent Forbes article, the writer explains, "We are hardwired to make snap decisions, even subconsciously, for our own well being."
Recently, on an outing with buyers, when we drove up to a home we planned to see, they felt that it looked drab, boring, and somewhat worn on the outside. And because of that first impression, we almost didn’t go inside. Their snap decision was that it would be a waste of time to even go in if this was the condition of the exterior. However, they decided to give it a shot and we all were surprised to see that the interior was actually very well kept and out shined the exterior. They almost missed out on seeing it because of the first impression. This is an important lesson for BOTH buyers and sellers. Sellers, you have to do what it takes to keep the attention of buyers both online in photos and also with the curb appeal of your home. You only have a few seconds to convince them that your home is worth pursuing. Buyers, this is a lesson for you in not ruling out a home just because the curb appeal is not great. Some people spend all of their time and energy readying the interior and leave the front yard lacking. Don't write it off without at least taking a peek inside.
So how do you keep their attention as a seller? The most forgotten rule seems to be keeping up with maintenance. Deferred maintenance is an equity killer. Buyers will either beat you up on the asking price or beat you up after inspection if you are not keeping up with those things that keep a home functioning at its best.
Here are some of the most important things you can do to make a great first impression.
1. Don't let maintenance go. Keep gutters clean, windows washed, and all systems inspected regularly.
2. Replace dead shrubs (bye Schipp laurels. Nice knowing you 😩)
3. Replace all mulch in flower beds
4. Give your exterior a facelift! Repaint trim and the front door as well as shutters if they are chipped, peeling, or faded by the sun. If you have Hardboard siding that is older than 5-7 years chances are the sun has faded it and it is ready for a fresh coat.
5. Keep grass neatly trimmed
6. Don't forget your mailbox. Nothing screams "deferred maintenance" like a rusted, fading, bird poop covered mailbox. Either clean yours up or replace it with a new one. It might be the very first thing a potential buyer sees.
I know, you might think I’m crazy because these things can be expensive. But do you know what is more expensive? Letting your home sit on the market and price reducing because buyers feel it needs work. Worse yet, you get an offer and then the buyers beat you down on inspections and you end up spending the money anyways after reducing your price. I have a host of tips, tricks and quick upgrades to get you the MOST for your home in the LEAST amount of time.
This market is a bit wonky and strange, but one thing I have seen from my buyers and my sellers, condition and appearance matter more than ever with higher home prices and interest rates. I can help you to showcase your home in its full beauty so that you will attract the right buyer at a good price.