Any of my listing clients know that when reviewing with them the ‘to do' list for marketing preparation, I tend to focus disproportionately on the entrance to their home.
Besides being a big believer in the old adage (I can only find credit given for the quote to a 1966 toothpaste campaign), ‘you never get a second time to make a first impression' a buyer can learn a lot about your house, and your attitude toward your house, at your front door.
How can a purchaser learn a lot in such a little space? Here are some ways:
- Attention to Detail: This is just one small area of your home, but if you have taken care of it and paid it special attention, they can extrapolate that you will do the same in other areas of your home.
- Sets the Tone: If it is warm and inviting, that first impression can carry on in to the entryway of your home. Conversely, if it is not, they might be wary of what they will find upon opening your front door.
- Condition Matters: A fresh door mat means nothing if the caulking around the front door trim is pulling away. Do the bugs tend to congregate under your portico? Wash them off! No one likes a bunch of dead bugs at the front door. Regularly brush off spider webs, dead bugs and other debris. These little things matter.
- Fresh Flowers in Clean Pots: Silk flowers can be lovely, but at the front door, they will be perceived as a ‘short cut.' It takes only a couple of minutes to plant some lovely flowers in pots on either side of your door. If you do not have the room for a planter, skip the silk wreath on the door and go for a bright entry mat and maybe a small welcome sign.
- Weeds: A house that is being marketed cannot afford to have weeds in any of the beds or in the lawn. Again, their presence shows a lack of attention to detail. No one will notice that they have been cleaned up, but I can guarantee they will notice if they haven't!
- Light it up! One of the necessary aspects of the real estate business is that some people can only look at homes in the evening. This can make the first impression better--softer light can minimize flaws--but it can make your house a ‘drive by' if you do not have good outdoor lighting. Make sure all of your bulbs work and that the outdoor lights are on if you will not be home before it gets dark. I know that is wasteful, but in the grand scheme of things, it is more wasteful to have your house sit on the market. If you need supplemental lighting, consider putting in solar powered sidewalk lights.
I know that preparing your home for marketing is one big to-do list, but as you work down the list, don't overlook the importance of the entry-way!
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