A Great First Impression is Key to Selling Your House

They say that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That could not be more true when it comes to selling your home. And the message your first impression conveys to potential buyers is long-lasting and can be the difference between selling your house at the price you want, or having it sit on the market for months.


The exterior is the first thing that potential buyers will see. It needs to impress and let the buyers know that this house is warm, inviting, and has been well taken care of. Here is a checklist to make sure you wow them with curb appeal:

  • the lawn is well cut and neatly trimmed around the walk and drive
  • flower garden is weeded
  • debris & dead leaves are disposed of and any toys & lawn equipment neatly stored
  • fences and gates repaired and repainted if necessary
  • the roof, gutters, and downspouts are clean and in good repair
  • windows and screens are washed and any cracks or tears are repaired
  • doorbell and front lights are in working order

Also be sure to check your home’s exterior at night to see that it is well lit and looks just as inviting as during the day.


Once you have captured the buyers’ attention, you need to confirm their interest with a spotless interior. Start with a top to bottom housecleaning and go to great lengths to reduce clutter as this will make your house appear more spacious. Follow this checklist to reinforce your great first impression:

  • walls are clean and free of smudges and fingerprints
  • curtains and drapes are freshly laundered
  • rugs and carpets are shampooed and hard floors are waxed
  • badly worn furniture is removed and stored elsewhere
  • leaky faucets are fixed and kitchen cabinets are repaired where needed
  • light fixtures are in working order and switches are clean and free of cracks
  • closets are clean and clothes & shoes well organized
  • bathrooms are sparkling clean and tub & shower caulking is repaired
  • mirrors, picture frames and any furniture glass are clean
  • electrical connections are in working order and plugged in
  • everything is free of dust and cobwebs, including hard to reach corners and ceilings

It is also important to consider your home’s lighting arrangement. A well lit home appears more happy and spacious.
While it’s important to prepare your house inside and out to be certain you’re giving off the best first impression possible, there are also things you can do to help your real estate professional do his or her job successfully when it comes time to show.

When Showing Your Home

Showing your home is a critical part to its sale. Here are some last minute details to maximize your home’s selling potential:

  • Turn off your TV and radio and be sure children are properly entertained and out of the way. You don’t want any distractions for your agent and prospective buyer.
  • Eliminate bad odors. Especially if you have pets or smokers in the house, be sure to use air fresheners.
  • The house should be properly lit. During the day, try to utilize as much natural light as possible. At night, be sure enough lights are on in all parts of the house.
  • Be sure the kitchen sink is free of dishes and wipe down all appliances.
  • Make sure all plants have been watered and look healthy. Consider a few fresh flower arrangements .
  • Leave it to your real estate professional to point out the features of your home, and never apologize for the appearance of your house.
  • Be sure your agent knows where you are so that you may answer questions, but do not tag along.
  • Let your agent discuss price, terms, possession and other factors with potential buyers.

Remember that your real estate professional has the experience and knowledge necessary to successfully sell your house. But by taking the time and effort to pay close attention to these details, you can ensure that you are doing your part in creating a memorable first impression and helping your home sell quickly at the right price.
If you live in the San Diego area and are thinking about selling your home, please visit my website,, or call me at 858-551-3380.