15 Tips To Create Your Home’s Best First Impression

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September 30, 2015 by Jeff Lowen

So you’ve decided to sell your home. That’s exciting! There’s nothing like the new frontier of a life changing move to get the blood pumping. Even if you aren’t considering putting your home on the market, here’s 15 tips to put your home’s best foot forward. family_and_house

  1. Increase the curb appeal of the house. The entrance needs to be immaculate.  Prune shrubs, weed beds, and replace pine straw.  Paint and polish around the front door as necessary.  Mow and trim the lawn regularly.  Buyers will linger here!
  2. Fresh paint is your best investment. In particular, check the stairwells and halls.  Use light neutral colors to add to the feeling of open space.
  3. Pressure wash and paint exterior siding, trim, and deck as required.
  4. Open draperies and shades to let light in and help rooms to appear larger. Replace all light bulbs with the highest safe wattage.  Turn on all lights whenever the house is going to be shown.
  5. Remember, nothing is more important than a clean house – right down to the wax buildup in the corners!
  6. Shampoo or replace carpet, if necessary. Polish hardwood floors.
  7. A sparkling kitchen and bath will do more to sell a house than almost anything else! Clear off the countertops.  Re-grout tiles and caulk as necessary.
  8. To make room look larger, avoid clutter. Put excess furniture and storage boxes in a rented storage space elsewhere.
  9. Storage is extremely important, especially in a house without a basement. Clean out every closet.  Replace the shelving with ventilated shelves if they haven’t been already.
  10. Eliminate unpleasant odors. Pet odors; a damp, musty basement or crawl space; damp bathrooms; wood rot; and tobacco smoke are all possible culprits.  Install a vapor barrier in the crawl space, seal basement walls, replace rotten wood, use a dehumidifier, and even replace the carpet to eliminate these odors.  The impression your buyer gets when they walk through the front door will be a lasting one.
  11. Remove or replace any items in the house that you are not willing to sell with the house (for example: the heirloom antique dining room chandelier).
  12. Keep pets contained or outdoors when showing the house.
  13. Set the stage when the house is being shown. Accessorize a vacant house, turn on the lights, open the draperies and shades, have a wonderful smell and play soft music.
  14. Stage the house with lavender and basil sachets, bean bags and TV w/ a bag of chips, “life, love & laughter” sign above a wall in the kitchen or nearby, small plants (plastic?), tools in the garage, signs denoting certain areas, mulch the front yard where possible, etc.
  15. Maintain the previous 14! Sometimes, for a myriad of reasons, houses sit on the market. Even if for a short time, if they’re sitting through changing seasons, it’s important to keep then fresh. Yes, this means maintenance: the yard, interior, adjusting the thermostat, dusting, etc. Whatever is necessary to keep up the appearance as if it were a brand new listing!

For your convenience, I’ve included a .pdf of this checklist for you to print and give to your favorite “Honey-Do-List” recipient… Which, in many cases if you’re like me, it just might be you! 😉

First Impression Checklist

p.s. you’ll need Adobe Acrobat or some other pdf reader to view and print this.


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