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When buyers go out looking for a home, they approach any home from the same perspective, which is comprised of five steps.
1. The community.
The very first thing that any buyer will be looking to "buy" is the community in which they will live. As a seller, there's nothing you can really do to affect the community buying decision.
2. The neighborhood.
The second step of the buying decision for most buyers is the choice of neighborhood they will live in. Will it be rural or urban? New or old? Acre lots or city parcels? Sidewalk or not? Streetlights or not? As a seller, you bought your home for a particular reason, and one of those reasons was the neighborhood itself. Any new buyer will make the same choice.
3. The street.
Once a buyer likes the neighborhood, they will begin to pay attention to the street on which their future home will be located. Are the other homes representative of an area in which they would like to live? Are the homes and yards well maintained? When the buyer is driving home after a long day's work, will they smile as they turn onto the street on which their home is located? As a seller, you can begin to have some impact here, as long as you know your neighbors well enough to talk with them!
4. The outside of the home.
If a buyer has made it this far (the community, the neighborhood, and the street), then you have only one chance to make a good first impression. This is where you begin to have total control over the sale of your home. The list of "things to do" to make the outside of your home ready to sell is too numerous to publish here. Suffice it to say, anything and everything you can do to make the outside of your home "shine", you must do.
As an aside, I have to relate an experience from several years ago. While showing homes to buyers, we walked up the sidewalk to the front of the home. Mrs. buyer gasped as she rounded the corner and saw the front porch and front door. The sellers had arranged hanging flower baskets on each side of the sidewalk, in the shape of the sides of a heart. It was such an inviting appearance! Those buyers bought that house, and I've always remembered that sight, as representative of the importance of making a great first impression with the outside of your home.
5. The inside of the home.
Needless to say, if the buyers have really liked what they have seen on the outside of your home, then, chances are, they will like what you've done to prepare the inside, as well. Again, the list of "things to do" to prepare the inside of your home for sale is too numerous to list here (and is also unique to each home!). Remember, you've only got one chance to make a great first impression of your home on the buyer. Do everything you can do to make it the home that's #1 on the buyer's list!
Having made it through these five steps in buying, your home has a great chance of selling. You can improve those chances even further by making sure you have consistency between the three "P's" of selling (from an earlier post).
Be sure to contact me if you have any questions about the five steps of buying.