A Buyer's First Impressions

Showing & Preparing Your Home For Sale, by Tony Hall

When the time comes to place your home on the market, don't panic! You come first. It is your home, you have your life to live, and so do the best you can and don't worry. Here are some tips I suggest:

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. An inviting exterior insures inspection of the interior. Tidy up the grounds, porches, and walkways. Be sure the front door is clean and that it doesn't need painting. Also, flowers in pots add a nice touch.

Decorate for a quick sale. If any painting is needed (especially exterior, kitchens, or baths) do it now! $100 worth of paint may balance $500 in a price cut. Don't expect the prospective buyer to imagine how it will look, show them how it will look. A quicker sale at a higher price will result.

A clean home is a happy home. Shampoo all carpets, clean the oven, and scrub the bathrooms. Bright, cheery windows and unmarred walls will assist your sale.

Spend a day with the handyman. Fix the leaky faucets, sticking doors, and loose doorknobs.

Closet Illusions. Clothes properly hung, shoes, hats, and other articles neatly placed, will make your closet appear more adequate. Pack and store excess items.

Check and re-check bathrooms. Bright and clean bathrooms sell many homes. Keep toilet lids down.

Bedrooms are important. Arrange them to feel spacious and clean.

The brighter the better. Illumination is a welcome sign. For the after-dark inspections, turn on your lights from the front porch in and throughout. The prospective buyer will feel glowing warmth, otherwise impossible to attain. Also, turn on lights in the daytime for rooms that are not so bright. Leave the blinds and draperies open-let the sunshine in!

Three's a crowd. When an agent and the prospective buyer arrive you should disappear. Turn off the TV. Children and pets should be kept clear. Don't volunteer any comment unless asked. Remember the prospective buyer is there to view the home. Leave the showing to the agent!

Love me, love my dog. This does not apply in house selling. Keep pets out of the way, preferably out of the house.

Be aware of odors. People will linger in a fresh, pleasant smelling home. Stale air, or bad odors, make them want to get out and can ruin the sale.

Is it ever so humble? Please don't apologize for the appearance of your home. After all, it is lived in. Let the agent answer any objections that are raised.

A word to the wise. Do not discuss price, terms, possession or other factors with the customers. As a seller, most anything you say could compromise your position. As a third party, the agent can better bring any negotiation to a favorable conclusion.

Caution: We ask that you don't show your house to prospective buyers should they knock on the door or approach you in the yard.