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First Impressions

Donna Story

Real Estate was the perfect choice for Donna because she loves working with people.  Her involvement in the community and industry knowledge help...

Real Estate was the perfect choice for Donna because she loves working with people.  Her involvement in the community and industry knowledge help...

Mar 21 5 minutes read

We will help you get your home ready for the market. Don't stress out!

We may hire a professional staging consultant to prepare a check list for you to make sure your home shines on Day 1 of marketing. 

But, one of the simplest things you can do is look at your house as if you were a buyer.  Based on what you see, would you buy your own home?  And, would you buy it for the price you are asking?


Get in your car and drive up to your house.  What do you notice?  Most buyers form their first impression of your home before they even get out of their cars. 

  • Trim, weed and tidy up lawn and garden
  • Add fresh mulch in the summer (please....not bright red; darker always looks better in pictures) 
  • Add potted or hanging flowers to deck or porch
  • Clean up pet areas
  • Tidy children's toys
  • Check the condition of your mailbox

Front Door/Porch

Many owners never enter through their own front door. Remember, it will take the agent a moment to open the lockbox, get the key, and open your door.  This is the time when buyers are standing on your front porch. See it through their eyes.

  • Get a fresh door mat
  • Check your door bell, make sure it works and is clean
  • Remove cobwebs in the porch light

Entry Hallway

This is the first thing buyers will see when they walk in your door. Don't crowd this entryway with unnecessary items--there may be 4 or 5 people trying to get in the door. 

  • Place a fresh and clean entry rug
  • Remove extra shoes/coats

In The Kitchen

It goes without saying this is a very important room.  It can be tough to keep the house looking pristine day-to-day and live a normal life.  At least in the beginning of the listing, do all you can to make it easier for yourself when you have showings.

  • Clear away extra small appliances
  • Remove stains and items from sink
  • Straighten memo areas and remove papers
  • Clean and deodorize exhaust hood 

In The Bathroom

For right or wrong, buyers may open vanity mirrors and drawers.  Now is not the time to be embarrassed by "personal" items.

  • Clean counters of extra toiletries. Store them out of sight
  • Remove stains and mold from sink, tub or shower
  • Patch, caulk and grout as needed
  • Put out attractive towels
  • If you have a great shower, minimize the amount of products in the shower--keep it looking as expensive as it is

In The Living and Family Rooms

Do your best here.  We know you are still a family living in these rooms. 

  • Rearrange furniture for a more spacious feel. Remove any extra pieces and store
  • Spot clean carpets or rugs
  • Have neutral paint or wallpaper
  • Accent with fresh flowers
  • Open the shades and drapes to let in light

In The Bedrooms

  • Straighten up closets. Box and store clothing, shoes, etc., as necessary
  • Arrange toys to look appealing
  • Remove attention-getting posters
  • Inexpensive but neutral bedding ensembles from Bed Bath and Beyond can spruce up a tired looking bedroom set

In The Basement or Garage

  • Thoroughly clean and deodorize areas where pets sleep or spend time
  • Straighten tools and laundry area
  • Get rid of any items you won’t be taking with you

Other Tips

  • You don't need to "stage" your tables with place settings and china--clean and tidy is better.
  •  Don't overwhelm the home with artificial scents including oil defusers. Some buyers are just too sensitive to odors, even pleasant ones, or may wonder what you are hiding.  
  • The more light the better--open drapes, blinds, add extra lights everywhere.
  • Don't smoke inside your house.  Every cigarette smoked inside your house is like literally burning your money. This is a #1 complaint.  If you smoke outside, empty  the ashtrays often and keep it outside.
  • Get a couple empty laundry bins that you can throw last minute items in before a showing.  Take the basket to your car or garage and then you'll know where all your day to day "stuff" is when you come back from the showing.

Final Thoughts

Don't get overwhelmed. 

Do your best to get as much done as you can at the beginning of the listing.  It is at this time that you'll have your most and best buyer traffic.

It's Now Or Never.

We know it may be scary, but if it's been on your mind for a while, now is the right time.

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