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Selling up? How to make the best first impression

You only get to make one first impression so getting it right the first time is crucial. This is true whether you’re meeting someone for the first time, preparing a presentation at the office or showing a potential buyer round your house. In the latter case, it’s particularly relevant, as it could lead to a decision that quite literally changes your life.

Estate Agents Strutt & Parker found that 76% of property purchases agree that first impressions are everything when visiting a property. 66% even admitted that it made all the difference even when viewing online! Particularly in such dire economic times, the housing market is always going to be a cautious one and while years ago agents could sit properties online and be pretty confident they would sell within the year, that isn’t necessarily the case anymore.

But what should home sellers be doing themselves to help catalyse that “wow” moment in their viewers? And how can they do it without spending a small fortune? Allow us to explore the options.

A fresh lick of paint – Ideally, you want your home to fall somewhere between the ‘show home’ look and a house with personality and charm. A great ideal of the ‘show home’ aesthetic, however, can boil down to the colour schemes. Keep things bright, clean and simple, painting over any quirkier colour choice, if you can. The character, meanwhile, can come from elsewhere.

Doors and windows – There can be few things that turn a potential buyer off more than dirty windows and creaky doors. Even worse, if your windows are only single-glazed then it could be a dealbreaker for some. Get fresh double or triple glazing installed ASAP and ensure that all of your doors are not only secure on their hinges but are properly sealed against the elements.

Modernising and minimising – Think modern and think ‘less is more’. Clutter can be very off-putting indeed and while you might make it feel like your house is ‘lived-in’ the buyer will just think it’s messy. So, get rid of everything on show that doesn’t need to be on show and ensure all of your modern appliances and design choices are on display.

Back to front – It’s not just the interior that will be making an impression on your viewers. Indeed, it could be argued that the very first impression will be of the front of the house and if that impression turns them off, it doesn’t matter how spectacular the interior might be. Stand outside your home and take it all, inspecting where there are patchy bits of paintwork, damaged guttering and the odd loose roof shingle. Do the same at the rear of your home too, of course, but give priority to the front.

Fix the box room – There’s that one room in every house that’s always an absolute state. The room where we’ll cram everything that doesn’t have a ‘place’ and forget about until that one point in the year where somebody comes to stay and we have to turn it into a makeshift bedroom. Property viewers are going to want to inspect every nook and cranny of your home and that includes the notorious box room. So don’t just leave it alone – get rid of all the guff and do something with it!

Clear up after yourself! – Finally, your cleaning duties should be amped up x 100 while your home is on the market. This means vacuuming every day, making sure there is not a spot of utter to be seen and dusting thoroughly at least once a week. You’ll never know when a viewer could make a last-minute booking so you’ll want to be prepared for company at all time. It might sound a little stressful but it will all be worth it when you finally make that home sale!