Today's real estate market, a buyer's market is very different from the seller's market of three to four years ago. Today: property values are depressed, there are less available buyers due to restricted credit access, there is an abundance of properties on the market, and listing prices are showing drastic cuts. So how do you increase your chances for getting a fair value when selling your home? You need a plan of action that addresses that all-important buyer's first impression. The picture a buyer gets when they see your property for the first time can make or break a deal.
It is the small things that influence a buyer's first impression of your home or property. It is all the little details that form the picture a buyer sees when they first get out of the car. It's your property's "curb appeal". For someone buying a home, that first impression will be a factor in every consideration of the deal. It can be the deciding factor in a buyer's mind when considering the desirability of your property versus another property for sale in the same price range. Enhancing your property's curb appeal can be an important step in creating a good first impression. Cosmetic details, like a freshly painted front door, and clean sidewalk, can help your potential buyer decide to consider buying your home instead of buying a house down the street, or they can make them get back in the car to look somewhere else..
Evaluating your property's curb appeal should be the first step in your plan of action. Look at your property from a buyer's point of view, as if you are seeing it for the first time. What is your home's curb appeal?
Is the lawn and landscape well maintained, or do you need to cut the grass and put down some new mulch? Is the lawn décor and furniture neatly arranged, or is it hap hazard and disorganized? Is the sidewalk or walk-way clean? Are the flowers and shrubs neat and trimmed? What about your roofline, is a gangly antenna the first thing you see? What about your side yard and outbuildings, is the trash can and junk around the garage the first thing you see? Does your front entrance need painting or sprucing up, is it cluttered with décor items that a buyer might not find appealing?
Grab a pad and pencil and walk around your neighborhood. Look at the homes from the curb, make notes about houses with things you find appealing, and also note those houses that don't look so good. What didn't you like, what looked bad from the curb, what affected your first impression? Now take those notes and stand in front of your home. Look at it honestly, as if you were a buyer seeing it for the first time. What is your first impression?
You will probably see things you had not noticed before, like the weathered and faded mulch in the flower beds. Little things that you had taken for granted or assumed weren't important. Now you can make a list of the things to do to improve a buyer's first impression. There may be a semi-major project or two, but more likely you will end up with a to-do list of smaller tasks that will only take a little time and effort, not a lot of money. You can use this list to improve your property's curb appeal so that when a buyer steps out of the car their first thought will be; "This looks nice". That first impression could help get you an offer, or perhaps even seal the deal.