Want to Sell Your Home? Make a Great First Impression


By Janet Lawless Christ

Earlier this summer, I wrote about the secrets of successful home sellers, and one of the mantra’s I shared was “the first impression is the only impression.” If you want to sell your home quickly and get top dollar for it, I cannot stress this enough. In Rancho Santa Fe you can’t even put up a “For Sale” sign, so just listing your property in the MLS and trusting that everyone dreams of moving to the San Diego area is not enough. Here are four easy but important ways in which you can guarantee that your first impression is a lasting one.

  1. Wow with Curb Appeal
If we’re talking about first impressions, it doesn’t get more “first” than the curb appeal. You might have an immaculate interior, but if your exterior doesn’t entice potential buyers, they’ll never make it to the front door.

  • Be sure the lawn is freshly mowed and the landscaping is neatly trimmed and free of debris, toys, etc.
  • Give your front door, garage door and gutters a fresh coat of paint.
  • Clean all windows until they are sparkling.
  • Make sure your address numbers are in place and polished.
  • Check to see if the roof needs any repairs, even if they are cosmetic.
  • Pay attention to details: add a new welcome mat or hang a wreath on your door.

  1. Spruce up the Interior
Once the exterior has wowed potential buyers and they are requesting to see the inside, you have the opportunity to make a whole new first impression. First of all, clean the inside from top to bottom, and yes, that means even dusting all the hard to reach nooks and crevices.

  • Clear away any clutter, and if you have too much furniture, put some of it in storage. Cabinets and shelves should also be sparse and well-organized to give the impression that they are spacious.
  • Remove excess personal knickknacks and family photos that make the house look like


home. You want the potential buyers to be able to easily imagine the space as


  • Wash away smudges from walls and doors, and touch up paint as necessary.
  • Get your carpets cleaned and then vacuum them each morning.
  • Wipe down all appliances, including the inside of the microwave. Buyers will look everywhere.
  • Hang fresh towels in the bathroom, and add a beautiful centerpiece to your dining table.
  • Place potpourri in key spots, especially if you have pets or a smoker in the house.

  1. Assess Your Evening Appearance
It’s important that you not only nail your curb appeal in the daytime, but ask yourself how your house looks in the evening. You want to be sure that the ambiance at night is just as impressive. Be sure the walkway is well-lit and that the address numbers are visible. There should be outside lighting that enhances the home’s appearance. Also, be sure to replace any indoor light bulbs as necessary and leave on decorative or track lighting so that your house does not seem dark upon entering.

  1. Make All Necessary Repairs
This might seem obvious, but it is important to change all the little things that need repair as well. This includes cabinet doors that don’t close properly and faucets that drip. You want to be sure that you are presenting a clean, attractive home that is free of problems. You don’t want potential buyers to be thinking of any work they’d have to do. They should leave your home seeing nothing but potential.

Don’t underestimate the power of a strong first impression. It could be all your need to get those offers rolling in.

If you’re interesting in selling your home in the Rancho Santa Fe area and are looking for a real estate agent who knows how to make the right first impression and attract potential buyers, please give me a call at 858-759-6567 or visit