Make Your Home's First Impression Stick With Buyers

Written by Posted On Sunday, 29 June 2014 13:01

Existing-home sales rose 4.9 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million, according to the National Association of Realtors&reg. While that figure is still below the 5.15 million-unit level in May 2013, it's still a lot of inventory.

The more inventory on the market, the more you need a competitive advantage to make your home's first impression stick with buyers.

Making your home stand out from the moment buyers first see it is crucial. It's often referred to as "curb appeal"–that moment when buyers first lay their eyes upon the outside of your home. But I prefer the term "overall appeal" because in today's world of online house hunting, buyers don't necessarily see your home from the street perspective first, like they did before the Internet. Back then they had to physically go to your home for a first glance.

There were no Google Maps giving buyers a birds-eye view of the neighborhood or even a look right inside your garage, (if you had the garage door open when Google captured its image.) There also weren't high-quality photos and videos of houses for sale readily available for buyers to see without even leaving their own home.

Of course, today images, videos, aerial views of neighborhoods and more are all available for prospective buyers to see with just a few clicks on the web. So it's likely that a buyer's first look at your home may have been a view of your kitchen or backyard. This doesn't mean, however, that you can let the front go.

Instead it means that you have to pay careful attention to the "overall" appearance of your home, knowing that the first impression might be made when buyers see the front of your house in person or online when they see your master bedroom.

So, don't make just the front yard look great because you know that curb appeal matters. Instead, make your whole home's first impression stick with buyers regardless of which area of your home buyers see first.

If you make sure that every area of your home gives the best first impression then you'll likely attract top-notch buyers and much higher offers. Before you list your home, do a survey of the home from the outside in.

Make sure you don't have debris and clutter outside–in the back or front yards. Put away kids' toys and get rid of the extra stuff that might make the yard look unkempt.

The exterior of the home should be well maintained. If you're planning to put on some fresh paint, stay within the color scheme of the majority of homes on your street; don't make your home stand out in the wrong way by using a color that is completely off the charts. Using some bold colors can work great for accents but not for the entire house.

Inside, take a look at the things that grab your attention first like the walls and flooring. If your walls are dirty and the tile on your floor is cracking, that detracts from the overall appeal of the home.

Go through each room and see where improvements can help create a better overall appeal of your home. This way, you'll create a lasting impression that sticks with buyers long after they've admired your curb appeal.

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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website:

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

Contact Phoebe at (858) 259-3646 or Visit for more information.

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