Home Showings Are First Date Impressions
Think of every home showing as a first date. Someone is coming to your home for the first time, they don’t know if it will work for them but they really hope it will be a lasting relationship. They are apprehensive and nervous, thinking about their expectations & imagining what life will be like there. Think about that while considering these sayings.
- You never get a second chance for a first impression
- When you first meet someone, look them in the eye and give a strong handshake
- People have short attention spans - catch their attention in the first few seconds
- It’s the twitter generation, speed dating, tell me the time, not how the watch works
- You need a really good headline or they will never read the article
These are all examples of how fast opinions are formed. The impression time seems to be getting shorter in the digital age with virtual tours, e-mailed photos and syndication of your listing on the internet.
When someone drives up to your home for sale, you have that one chance to make a good first impression, just like a first date. Will they want a relationship or will they say it had a great personality? They are looking your house in the eye, deciding if your homes handshake is a strong one. You have those precious few seconds as they size up the front of your home and walk up to the entry.
The way your home looks and the impression it gives is the headline. All Realtors have been on showings where the buyers told us not to stop or they blew through the house like a bad speed date, just wanting it to be over so they could go to the next one. In real estate, not judging a book by its cover seldom applies. If the cover is bad, 99% of the time the book is worse! Think about your cover.
Let’s Go On A Date – I Mean Home Showing Together.
As buyers drive to your home they are considering the price, features, neighborhood, schools, commute times and looking at the available pictures. You do have good pictures, don’t you? They will also be discussing the good or bad about the last home visited. That last house can really make yours look good if it was in poor condition, is dated or overpriced. You don’t want your home to be that last house. You want your house first date ready.
Where Does My Date Live?
Think like a home buyer. The first thing buyers will look for is the house number, either on the curb, house or mailbox. Make sure your address numbers stand out. It’s pretty inexpensive to buy new address numbers, repaint the curb address or get a new mailbox. If your mailbox was beat up by mailbox terrorists or it is leaning over, replace or repair it!
Will The Drive Be Worth iI?
If the buyer has to dodge potholes in your driveway or it is full of cracks that is not going to leave the best impression. This is especially important on country homes where there may be a long rock drive. Fill the holes, grade the drive and keep the grass neat and trimmed.
Landscaping Is Your Make-Up
The next thing the buyer will take in is the yard and landscaping as they exit the car. Have you ever seen a ten-year old house with no landscaping, or weeds growing out of the gutters? If your date didn’t take the time to put on their best face for the first date, how do you think the rest of the relationship will go? If your landscaping is non-existent, boring, dead or overgrown it’s time for a makeover!
The Walk Up
Your dates..ahem buyers dreams can be dashed if the white picket fence hasn’t been white for years or the gate doesn’t latch properly. You don’t want them to stumble over the kids toys, bang their heads on the low hanging tree branches or brush up against the poison ivy. I bought a house once with a big poison ivy bush by the front door. Dates and homes should never be remembered by an itchy rash.
Hopefully your date has passed the driver’s test. You might be wondering just that if you find bashed in garage door panels. Front entry garages can take up a third of the front entry view. Make sure yours doesn’t have dented panels, big smudges from the basketballs or rotten jambs. On another note, make sure it works properly. Dates may not open your garage door but agents and buyers will. Agents hate to open garage doors. You never know if they will hang up, make creaky moaning sounds or go into constant automatic forward and reverse.
Front Door Anticipation
Flash back to standing nervously anticipating your date opening the door. The very first thing dates, agents and buyers do is push the doorbell! You have pushed the doorbell and you are now rocking back and forth on your heels taking in the entry. Did it work, have an inviting sound or was it like the Adams Family doorbell? Are wasps buzzing your head from the nest over the door? If there are scratches half way up the door you are left wondering if the Duke the German Sheppard will soon attack.
This is really a home showing but you get the picture. Get a door mat that doesn’t say Go Away, remove the no solicitors sign, replace the rusty 1960 porch lantern, fix the storm door closer, wash the windows, repair or replace the screens, paint the door and make sure the doorbell works. If you don’t do anything else, make sure the lock is easy to operate and the key doesn’t stick. Nothing creates a bad memory like getting the key stuck in the door.
Would you like your date to have tired eyes like they didn’t get any sleep last night? That’s what porch ceiling fans that have the blades drooping down look like. Don’t let you house look sad and depressed by having tired eye syndrome. You want your date to feel welcome and that you are happy to be considered for a long-term relationship. Drooping porch fan blades make your home look so sad. Replacement blades are not expensive.
It can be hard to look at your home like a first date or buyer would. It can be painful but a good Realtor will be able to suggest some of the things I mentioned. The choice on how you get your home ready for that date is up to you. Sometimes you have to accept a date as is but if you were ever pleasantly surprised by how a blind date looked, you’ll know what to do. Call Keith Laursen, your Van Alstyne Realtor at 469-233-1234 when you are ready!