Selling Your Home: How to make a good first impression

Posted on Friday, May 14, 2021

From the availability of light, to the distinct sights and smells within a home, down to its temperature and sense of warmth, there are a variety of details that can change the perception of a property on the market.

The selling process of a property can feel like a journey, as the homeowner will have to navigate the demands of the market to make their house desirable from its first impression.

It can take guests as little as 38 seconds to judge your home. If this seems daunting, then consider how 76% of property purchasers would confirm that first impressions are vital when they visit a property. This covers everything from nuances in the décor to windows and extra features around the home and garden. A home, it would seem, is judged on how it looks and feels as an experience.

So, what are guests noticing when they first enter your home?

1. Invest in photography

If you’re browsing the property market from the web, especially when there are limits and restrictions on visiting homes, then certain details will help a property stand apart from the background. Each home must be well presented in its photography, with clear natural lighting and attractively arranged spaces. This can be the difference between a follow-up viewing, or a possible buyer moving on. In fact, 66% of potential homebuyers say that first impressions are vital when it comes to viewing a property online.

2. Fresh paint can change a tired look

Many potential buyers, especially those with stricter budget goals, are looking for presentable homes that need minimal work. Often cheaper properties enter the market as “projects” or those homes that need restoring or updating. To avoid associating your house with just another “project”, try painting it to impress. You can even coordinate its style and palette more attractively. Try focusing on the common areas, like discoloured or damp walls or mismatching ceilings.

A new coat of paint is a cost-effective way to transform a home inside and out. New paint can make a home look fresh, which is just as relevant for the outside walls of your property or garden fence. Sometimes age and weather can fatigue a house’s appearance, so it’s important to not overlook its curb appeal. This is a small change, but easily noticeable by guests and makes a large difference to your property’s perception.

3. Try jet washing for cleanliness

If painting your whole house seem tedious, try jet washing the exterior (and any patio areas) as an alternative. Painting will give home sellers an opportunity to change the impression of a home, but jet-washing can be just as impactful, especially if it’s used to remove unsightly layers or strains. Often discolouration or dampness is a sign of deeper

property damage too, so ensuring your property looks and appears clean and hygienic is essential to today’s market.

4. Remove trapped odours

Foul odours are a hidden, yet easily identifiable, pain point for property purchasers. Scent, just as much as smell, plays a vital role in shaping the overall experience of a home.

Whether DIY or hiring a professional cleaning company, removing residual trapped odours can quickly repair and refresh a house’s atmosphere. Often a home is associated with the appeal of baking, or fresh linen. Smells can work favourably to attract the right attention from guests, especially those who might want to make an offer.

There are a variety of budgeted tricks that can impress future homebuyers, including baking, candles, and reed diffusers. Always opt for neutral and warming scents as a strategy.

5. Dressing up style

Fatigued furniture and props, where small repairs and damage is noticeable, can undermine your efforts to sell. Uncared-for items in a house can quickly disappoint potential buyers. That’s why remedying these with neutral and minimised props, especially by depersonalising your home, can help others envision themselves within better. Props should always reinforce a good impression.

6. Windows tell a story

Condensation, chips, or general fatigue – these signs of age and wearing can let down the final asking price for a home. Even if you’ve lived there for a long time, new buyers will feel the excitement from the newness of your property. Sellers should play up the impression of a modern and new space in their home, often creating the sense of a blank or natural canvas.

Windows are a key target for marketability. Windows can pain the sale of a house, especially if they are low or poor in terms of energy efficiency. From April 1st (2020), the minimum level “E” Energy Performance Certificate applies to all tenancies – including existing lets and other properties on the market.

If you are getting new windows, consider more than style, but the function of a window. Windows that enhance your EPC (or energy performance) can attract savvy buyers keen for home’s that are efficient.

7. Prioritise decluttering

Having an untidy or cluttered house, both in photos and in person, can quickly derail a sale. Whilst a perfectly clean house seems unrealistic, keeping minimal clutter on surfaces and putting away any toys, props or mess when it matters can help a property secure an offer.

Clutter is often a sign of excess in a home, so consider what parts of a property are most desirable and work around these spaces as a priority. Ultimately, a clean and tidy space will send the right message. Unwanted clutter, however, can harm the image of an ideal home.

8. Use lighting better

A well-lit room can carry a similar effect to a new coat of paint: it’s the difference between a room’s size and perception. Darkly lit spaces create an unwelcoming presence and shrink the dimensions of a room, whereas spaces that are flooded with natural light can create openness and warmth.

9. Use green plant life

Plants can change the dimensions of a house from flat and unexciting to a more lively, natural place. Wildlife is often associated with relaxing scenery and indoor plants can, when used sparingly, create a similar effect. Plants will clean the air, creating a fresher atmosphere, whilst introducing a new, often sweet, scent into the house.

Fresh plant life is a budgeted and creative way to transforms dull spaces into more interesting ones, often by proving a room with a focal point.

10. Assess the flow of your home

From the entrance to the lounge and bedrooms, does your house flow effortlessly? Or is style and colour disjointed? You can abruptly disrupt the experience of your home by making rooms seem disjointed in how they appear. Consider if your flooring is consistent, or if colours match. The design of a home should bring its separate rooms together, as one unit. Replan the “experience” of your home, making sure the rooms connect stylistically.

Back to News Articles