Making the Best Second Impression

I’ve found that there are plenty of interior tricks to punch the right emotional buttons in prospective buyers.

In all rooms there are minimum standards that need to be met.

These Are The Minimum Standards:

  • Make sure all plumbing and electrical systems are in good working order
  • Repair cracks in the wall
  • Paint—as is the case outside, a fresh coat of paint throughout the house will more than pay for itself
  • Remove wallpaper
  • Replace missing molding
  • Replace cracked or broken window glass
  • Make sure window and door hardware match
  • Install new floor coverings
  • Install new light fixtures
  • Make sure switch and outlet plates match from room to room
  • Upgrade insulation in drafty or hot rooms

As is the case outside, a coat of paint can literally make the difference between a sale and no sale. Be sure to stick to neutral colors—white or off-white. It tends to make everything look new, clean and bright.

Be sure to paint everything: inside closets, cabinets, pantries, etc. If a prospective buyer opens a door and sees dirty walls or shelves, you’ve just wasted the advantage you had gained by painting in the first place.

Like paint, new carpeting should also be in a neutral shade. This helps buyers visualize their own furniture in your home.

Wallpaper, like wall colors, makes a personal statement about the owner’s tastes. Remove it. Buyers want to visualize what they would do with your house, and wallpaper gets in the way of their dreaming.

Many buyers value good wood floors, so sand and refinish yours if they can be restored. Otherwise, you might consider new flooring. If your home is short on storage space, consider how you can add shelving, cabinets or other storage systems to remedy this deficiency. You may also consider replacing windows and doors with more energy-efficient models.

Taken individually, each of the above improvements may not seem like much. But you’ll find that the cumulative effect of fixing even relatively minor problems will be dramatic. A crack in the wall, a carpet stain or a light switch that doesn’t work can send a negative signal that results in the loss of a buyer.



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