Sunday, June 1, 2014

First Impressions - By Rick Yost

You have made the big decision to sell your home. You interviewed at least two professional realtors and hired the best fit for you. You have de-cluttered and had the photographer take pictures that showed your home in the best possible light. Your home is advertised online and on the MLS. Now what?
The online advertising and MLS placement with your beautiful pictures is drawing interest.
Buyers that like what they see online decide to drive by, see the home in person, and check out the neighborhood. This will be potential buyer's first impression of your home. You want to make sure it is a good one. You also don't want to spend a small fortune on a home that you are trying to sell. So what do you do?

Here are some low cost ways to make sure potential buyers get a positive first impression when they drive by.

Keep your lawn mowed and your plantings pruned. 

Clear your walkways of all obstructions and trim back any overhanging branches.
Light up your pathway and entrance - use inexpensive solar powered LED lights that you stick in the ground to light the path. Mount two lanterns on either side on your doorway for symmetry and double the illumination.

Use large vinyl numbers to clearly mark your home. Make your home easy to find.

Paint your front door. A high gloss color with a reflective sheen will make your home stand out. Crimson, royal blue, and deep green are nice contrast colors.

Change your front door's hardware. A shiny new handle will do wonders for a door. While you are at it add a secure deadbolt and for a little more novelty, add a whimsical knocker.

Decorate front door glass. Decorative window film comes in multiple styles and motifs. It will add some privacy and ad some decor. An alternative to decorative window film is a decorative panel mounted inside your existing glass. It can create a stained glass effect.

Replace your old mailbox. Get a new mailbox that latches correctly, stands straight and is clearly marked.

Get a nice door mat. It will serve a dual purpose. It will make your home seem more welcoming and provide a place to wipe muddy shoes when buyers return to see the inside.

Put potted plants or shrubs at the sides of your door. Boxwood plants are perfect if you lack a green thumb. They are very low maintenance and look very tidy.

Any or all of the above improvements will add to your home's curb appeal without breaking your budget. Each of the projects can be completed for under a hundred dollars. These simple, inexpensive improvements will create the right first impression for buyers. So get out front, get to work, and get your home sold.

Rick is a realtor, real estate author, and long-time Windham resident. You can contact Rick with all your real estate questions and needs at

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