First Impressions

Exterior and Curb Appeal

    • Experts say most buyers make their decision at first sight.

General Exterior

    • Prospective buyers will react well to signs your home has been meticulously maintained.
    • Manicure landscaping: mow, edge and water lawn, trim hedges, weed and fertilize flowerbeds, and prune trees.
    • Keep driveway clean and free of parked cars, and keep the garage door closed.
    • Repair or replace loose or damaged roof shingles.
    • Minimize cracks or crumbling on walkways, walls, or steps, and keep them clean and free of obstructions like toys or snow.
    • Items from RV’s to waste cans left out can contribute to a cluttered or busy appearance. Make sure that from the street, your property appears clear.
    • Inspect appearance of interior window coverings from the curb.
    • Repair any peeling paint or loose caulking on windows or other areas.
    • Take steps to eliminate insect or rodent pests.
    • Pick up after your pets and neighborhood animals.


    • While agents work the lock-box for a key, buyers have idle time to notice details.
    • Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door.
    • Consider adding pots of flowering plants in the entryway if weather permits.
    • Eliminate cobwebs and groom doorway area windows, porch light, or decorative glass.

Interior Appeal

    • Once inside, experts say most buyers are reaffirming their curbside decision.

Clean, Clear, Light and Bright

    • Give every room in the house a thorough cleaning and remove all clutter. Hiring a cleaning service may pay for itself by adding to a buyer’s perceived value of your home.
    • For a sleeker, more spacious look, consider placing furniture from crowded rooms in storage.
    • Clear kitchen counters of everything other than perhaps a few pretty items. Ask yourself: In a model home, would a professional decorator put your choice of items out on the counter?
    • Remember, closets will be opened! Keep closets, cupboards, and even your attic orderly and neat. Since you’re anticipating a move anyway, consider holding a garage sale or boxing and storing unused belongings.
    • If necessary, repaint or clean/replace dingy, soiled or strongly colored walls, and window and floor coverings with a light, neutral shade. Bright rooms look bigger, and neutral colors help buyers envision their own furnishings and decor.
    • Repair dripping faucets, burned out light bulbs, or cracked window panes.
    • Repair cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, and tiles.

Warm and Homey

    • Subtle scents of potpourri in bedrooms or baths and fresh baked cookies or cinnamon in the kitchen can make your home more inviting.
    • Keep an attractive set of towels in each bathroom to be brought out only for showings.