In my experience, the strength of first impressions plays a paramount importance in setting the mood for any kind of relationship; this of course also applies to real estate. So, I wish to share with you some last-minute tips that may just make that all important difference to help elevate your property looks and value. And if your property is for sale or available to rent, it’s even more important you apply the subtle power of First Impressions, allowing it to be the favourite amongst the many competitors on a difficult market.
Your hard work and renovations have surely added great value to the property, but are these what the visitors will notice first? All that hard work, clever storage solutions, crisp new paint, and well-placed throw, can be for noting if the presentation details are missing. For example, you’ve added beautiful French doors that open out into the backyard, but the glass is dirty or smudged so guess what, that’s where the visitors’ attention will stop. Or the brand-new kitchen: everybody agrees on how beautiful it is, but can it be fully appreciated if strong smells take over? Is the bathroom clean? Have the bedrooms been aired? Is the driveway and pool free of leaves? When people see leaves they look up and imagine lots of work each weekend instead of thinking of shade and ambience!
These are obvious issues, right? So, I’m sure you’ve already have placed them on your to-do list; or have you? It’s easy when you have selling on your mind, plus everyday family routine to look after, to overlook some presentation details. You can ask your real estate agent to inspect, if they are worth their salt, but perhaps asking friends to come around and give you honest feedback on the appearance and feel of your property may be what you need, to see it through a different set of eyes! Remember to be open minded to criticism, after all you should prepare the property to please others and not yourself. Once ready, and to be equally ready on all the Inspection Days following, here are my quick tips:
1) FIRST IMPRESSIONS count, so stand at the entry door to each room, and then simply look around just as any new visitor would, taking in the general impression of how the room looks and feels, (brightness, styling, odours ...) then consider what can be altered, repositioned or maybe removed. By searching for details that might negatively affect the appreciation of your property, you’ll be sure to present your property at its very best… every time, with a stress free process that you’ll be able to repeat, every time.
2) TAKE PHOTOS of the house room by room when you are finally happy with the styling, and I also mean photos of the styling in detail: the kitchen bench, the bookshelves, the coffee table, the cushions on the sofa.... This will be your guide as you work your way quite quickly around the property, allowing you to recreate the successful look by comparing the space with the photos. This will make it accurate and quick to duplicate, any time your home is to be open for inspections.
3) MAKE TWO CHECKLISTS for all those things that should not slip out of mind: one for things to act on the day before the inspection (like doing the ironing so there are no clothes cluttering the laundry, cleaning the windows, watering the plants, sweeping the leaves, checking for cobwebs etc.) and one for the day itself (store away the toiletries, clear the kitchen benches, empty the rubbish bin, remove the cat litter tray and dog food bowls etc). It’s also good to share the list with other family members, asking for everyone to contribute. These will be your must-do lists and no box should be left unchecked when it comes to inspection time.
all images in this page were taken in Eden Brae display homes
If you think all this sounds too simple, I can assure you that I see many of the issues I’ve mentioned here over and over again when inspecting properties. So, as basic as it sounds, it’s a sad reality that people miss out on potential by not remembering the importance of a first impression. I hope these tips are helpful to you as I honestly want to wish you great results for the sale or renting of your property. If you’re interested in learning more about presenting your home at its best, whether selling, renting, or simply for your own enjoyment, Interior Design For Profit, is the online course where I share my knowledge in Styling, Interior Design, and Real Estate. Click HERE for more info about it.
A recap of Tips:
Judge every room from its entry door and use the power of First Impressions to your benefit,
Take photos of each room once happy with its looks as a guide to reproduce on Open Days,
Write To-Do checklists and go through it THOROUGHLY before you open the doors to your property.
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design. His knowledge and experience in adding value to homes, through clever design & styling, is now published for all to learn and benefit from: Interior Design For Profit is now available online.