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Critical 1st Impressions-Curb Appeal & Home Odor

Q - Are there some specific things that I should do to prepare for the selling my home?

A - We have often heard the expression 'you only have one chance to make a first impression'.  To get the full understanding of this phrase, you have to place yourself into the buyer's shoes.  You cannot look at your home through your 'personalized eyes'.  Let's start with the buyer's first two exposures.

As the real estate agent takes the buyer to view several homes, in each case the buyer will have an impression of the neighbourhoods and then the homes.  As an agent, I could sense the buyer's impressions as we approached each home.  Extreme silence was generally not a good omen.  

When preparing your home for sale, be sure that there is good curb appeal - the grass is cut, flowers are tidy, weeds are removed,  toys and other items put away, clean siding if necessary and so on.  If you aren't sure what else needs doing, ask a friend to drive by and give you some honest feedback regarding how they see the exterior of your home.

Next, the buyer enters the home.  Before the buyer even sees anything in the home, as he steps in, he becomes aware of the odor of the home.  The odor could be either pleasant or unpleasant.  Whichever it is, it sets the stage for how the buyer will see the home.  Odors such as vanilla, cinnamon or baking are pleasant and encourage the buyer to see the home in a more positive vain.  Unpleasant odors such as pet odors, cooking odors, stale odors or mouldy odors will turn the buyer off and will distract him from seeing the attributes of the  home.

There are, of course, other things that one should do to prepare a home for sale which I will discuss in the next blog.  But any other preparations will have less impact and, in some cases, won't even matter if the buyer's impressions are already set by the lack of curb appeal and an unpleasant odor in the home.

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