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First Impressions

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

You only get one chance to make a first impression. Who else learned that as a child? That’s not a hard & fast rule, but overall, humans start making judgements within seconds of viewing a person, a situation, or a house… Can those be changed later, maybe, but it’s certainly easier to not fight that uphill battle in the first place.

We put a lot of emphasis on the interior of our home when we are thinking about selling it. Like making big decisions such as renovations or small ones like paint colors. And, of course, that is important. But what really puts your best foot forward is curb appeal. The feeling a buyer gets when they are standing on the sidewalk, about to walk up to the front porch. If it feels like home from that vantage point, you’ve won half the battle.

How can you create the best first impression? Definitely start with the basics. If your walkway is crumbling, fix it. If your steps are broken or wobbly make sure to sturdy them up. It looks better, but it also feels better. When a potential buyer steps, we want them to feel like they’re on solid ground or a sturdy step. Aside from their physical safety and also sets a good tone.

Next, think about when you are standing at the door. Is there room to comfortably stand while you’re waiting to be let in? Yes, a new owner would have their own key, but more than likely their first impression will be made while standing on the porch next to their agent while the agent unlocks the door or lockbox. Is it cramped? Will there be room for everyone to be undercover if it’s raining? Is there something negative that might draw their attention while they wait, dirt, grime, paint that needs touched up, etc. If so, correct it.

Lighting is very important as well. It makes the house more visually appealing and welcoming from the road and also improves safety. Warm lighting on an evening driveby, could prompt would be buyers to make an appointment to see the property. And, if you show up to see a house afterwork (and after dark), the right lighting can mean the difference between a welcoming glow and a cold, uninviting property. It’s also safer for the homeowner, potential buyers and agents showing the property to have the entrance well lit.

Cosmetic touches go a long way and don’t have to be expensive. Painting where needed, maybe the door could use a fresh coat of paint or the landing is cement and could use a facelift. When it’s not winter, plants can add an easy touch of color. While certainly professional landscaping is wonderful, it’s ok if that is not in your budget. Potted plants or hanging plants can be added on either side of the front door to dress it up or along the walkway.

Try to look at it with objective eyes, and always ask your agent for his/her opinion. I always find taking a picture with your cell phone and then looking it allows you to better see it from an outsider’s perspective.

Have a little fun with it! But if you like fun/bold colors, choose bright pink flowers to put next to the door instead of painting your door bright pink.

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