Have you ever turned up to a house viewing and had that sinking feeling as you approach that this is not the one for you?
Yet, being polite, you ring the doorbell, tap the door, already knowing your mind is made up and this is not the one, even before you’ve stepped inside?
We’ve all done it. That’s because first impressions count. Always.
That interview you’ve attended, thinking, with hindsight, about the body language of the panel, that you’re not going to be hired … that test drive of a car that looked okay online but is not for you when you’re in it? House buying is the same.
They say you have 10 seconds to make a good impression when selling your home, your property, your investment so let’s count down from 10 to 1:
- Kerb appeal: Go on, stand outside your property and survey it objectively. Look at the brickwork, the garden, the door, the lawn, the drive, the windows. Look, not as an owner, but as a potential viewer and buyer.
- Walk closer and examine the door: That really is the first time your viewers will touch your house physically. Clean it, repaint it, add fresh numbers, a new door handle and letterbox, if need be, to make that first contact positive.
- Check the path: Weeding a path is generally easy, unless you live in Downton Abbey, which most of us in Lincoln or Scunthorpe don’t.
- Mow the lawn: Not if you’re in the depths of winter or in a summer deluge, but make sure, if you have a lawn on your front, that it’s tidy, whatever the season and weather.
- Greet potential viewers with pots of seasonal flowers: Spring bulbs, like snowdrops, daffodils or tulips in spring, lilies in early summer right through to autumn flowering pansies to winter staples like skimmias.
- Clean windows and frames: If you have hardwood windows, fix minor repairs and paint yourself or get someone in to do it – you don’t want viewers waiting on your path, tutting at flaking frames. If you have uPVC frames, clean these well.
- The knock on the door: Now make those first impressions count. If your door opens to a hallway, make sure the floors and walls are clean and tidy, with pets taken out of the way. You may love your cat or dog – viewers may not.
- Let there be light: Try to maximise natural light by ensuring blinds are open and doors ajar to give that Vitamin D fix. We are blessed in Lincoln and Scunthorpe by having homes in sunny climes so make sure your home showcases this.
- The tour: Stand behind the viewers to guide them into each room, making sure you stand away from entrance doorways to keep that light flowing.
- Let your viewers dictate the pace: Be on hand to answer any questions and, once you’ve finished with the inside of the house, take them out to the garden which should have freshly mown lawns along with borders bursting with colour. Make those final impressions as good as their first.