If you are selling your home, you have eight seconds to make the right impression or lose the deal. How can you make every second count?
We have all heard the saying that first impressions matter, but if you are planning on putting your house on the market, you might not realise just how important they are. Research has found that the average buyer will have already decided, either consciously or unconsciously, whether they like the place they are viewing within eight seconds of seeing it.
The implications are clear – if you don’t get that first impression right, then you are just going through the motions and wasting everyone’s time with the viewing.
So here are some tips for improving the instant appeal of your home. They won’t cost you the earth and could just make or break the sale, so before you head off to your local Romford estate agent to list your home on the market, give them a try!
It will probably take more than eight seconds for your viewers to get from the pavement to the front door, which means they will have already made up their minds before they even get inside.
This means that if you have an immaculate and beautifully decorated interior to your home, but it is approached by an outdoor space that is neglected or full of junk, then you are clearly putting yourself at a huge disadvantage from the outset.
You don’t have to call in Alan Titchmarsh, but if you have grass, make sure it is mown, and if there are bushes or hedges, give them a quick trim. Many front gardens in the area have long since been paved over for parking – if this applies to you, make sure it is tidy and the car is not blocking the approach to the front door. Giving it a sweep with a stiff broom only takes a minute or two, but makes a huge difference.
Perhaps you live in an apartment, or your home is directly accessed from the street, meaning there is no front garden to worry about. In that case, the viewer will definitely make it to the front door in those eight seconds, and will probably spend the rest of them staring at it waiting for it to open.
As the first thing that every viewer will look at, it is worth treating it to a coat of paint. Bold colours such as cerise make a statement, or if you want to “get the London look,” those washed-out, muted seaside shades are the latest big thing in the residential parts of the West End.
Take a critical look at the door furniture, too. If the doorbell is sticky or the letterbox is tarnished, it can ruin the overall look, and these can be replaced for just a few pounds.
As your viewers approach the property, they will inevitably be looking at the windows – it is human nature. So first and foremost, either get up a ladder or invest £20 in the services of a local window cleaner and make sure yours are shining!
Also check the window furniture – net curtains are fine in their place, but if they get worn and dirty, you can find yourself projecting the “mad cat lady” look. If in doubt, the “less is more” approach works well.