I like to watch the body language of the Buyer client who has landed on a home that has really captured his attention. He leans in. He smiles. He gazes at picture after picture. Yes. He is smitten with your home.
As I’ve written previously, the key to selling your home starts at the front door.
Long before a Buyer client reads all of the information about what the home has to offer, he is falling in – or out – of love with a home based on that all-important curb appeal. You want to keep him engaged, staying on your listing and looking at photo after photo, instead of clicking past your listing and moving on to the next one. You only have a fraction of a second to hold his interest, and his eye is drawn to the front door and overall appearance of your front entrance.
How Can You Win Him Over At First Sight?
1. Look at your home as if you were the Buyer. Would you be “wowed” by the look of the front of your home? If the answer is a definite “no”, you need to bring in some “wow factor”.
2. If you want the Buyer to beat a path to your door, make it easy for him to get there. As he is walking up the sidewalk, make sure there are no overhanging tree limbs or overgrown bushes in his way. If the sidewalk is uneven or cracked, this can be not only unimpressive, but can also be a safety hazard, so you will want to make repairs.
3. Attractive landscape lighting along the sidewalk can also add interest, and can be helpful for evening showings of your home. Solar powered lighting is inexpensive and easy to install – you literally just place them in the ground. Make sure they are evenly spaced and standing upright.
4. Take a good look at your steps. Over time, steps begin to deteriorate, and natural settling can leave unsightly gaps between the steps and the sidewalk and/or between the steps and the front porch. Seal those areas so that they don’t become an issue in the Buyer’s mind. Remember, you want him to have a positive impression of your home long before he steps inside.
5. If your front door could talk, what kind of statement would it make? Even more important than finding the right color – should it complement the color of the brick, match the shutters, be a glossy or flat paint – is the fact that it is clean and your hardware shines like new. Nothing speaks “pride of ownership” like newly polished hardware on your front door. If you want to be bold and stand out from the rest of your competitors in the neighborhood, check with a home decorator and ask what “hot new color” he or she would suggest. As part of our listing package we offer one free hour of home staging consultation.
6. I prefer the look and feel of a heavy door-knocker over a door bell. If you already have a door bell and don’t want to go to the hassle and expense of removing it, upgrade it to a high quality door bell instead of the ones you see so often that are made of a cheap looking plastic.
7. If you have room for greenery on your front porch, here is your opportunity to really show off the beauty of your entrance. Tall “Grecian” urns with attractive evergreens flanking your front door are classically beautiful. If you live in a cold climate, make sure you buy frost-proof urns or pots. If you don’t want the upkeep of live evergreens, today’s artificial ones look very authentic.
8. Another way to show off your front door, and to help light the way for evening showings, is porch lighting. The less expensive porch lighting seems to show its age quickly, so even lighting just a few years old will should either be polished up or replaced.
9. If you have a covered front porch, this is where all the insects love to party, so take a good look all around and knock down all the cobwebs and wash away any dirt.
10. Are your house numbers clearly visible? If they, too, are showing signs of age, replace them with something attractive and substantial. Keep it classic. Choose something you know will have mass appeal.
As the Buyer’s hand is poised over the computer mouse, he is making a decision. Move on the next home listing, or keep looking at yours. If you want to hold his interest and ultimately get him to make an appointment to see your home, you’ve got to grab him at the front door.