“Buyers make their decisions in exactly eight seconds. After that, they’ve either fallen in love or are just honoring an appointment.”
You’re likely to come across that quotation (from prominent Manhattan Realtor® Barbara Corcoran) whenever you’re researching how to add the most value to your home with the least expense. For Bainbridge Island home owners about to list their property, it’s a somewhat unnerving prospect. If true, then every showing may start with what sports fans call a sudden death playoff!
If you are a future seller with an island home that needs improvement, it’s only realistic to accept the likelihood that should you go to market without doing anything about it, it will cost you one way or another. Either the offers you garner will be lower than they needed to be, or (worse), the home will linger too long with no real offers at all. If you have any leeway in time and/or budget, there are two approaches you can take to fix the problem.
First, you can hire a professional to assess the problem and lay out solutions. It may be expensive (not necessarily); but it’s a pretty foolproof approach. You and your real estate representative can go over the recommendations, assess which will be most cost-effective—most certain to reflect in the value your home realizes—and then get them done.
The other way is to make your own evaluation, and act on it. Drive up to your curb just as prospective buyers will, get out of the car, approach your home, and take in what needs fixing. If your curbside mailbox doesn’t have clearly recognizable numbers on it; if the walkway looks stained or broken; if the bushes have last fall’s dead leaves lodged in them; if the front doorbell is rusty…you get the idea! Note what’s wrong (heave a sigh of relief for what’s right), and get going! It will pay off!
On the other hand, if you have an home that’s undisputedly a true eye-pleaser, you’re probably content with the Love at First Sight precept—as you should be. If you’ve done your job of maintaining your home’s exterior and landscaping, you’re steps ahead. But a word of caution: that first decision doesn’t have to be final. If what buyers experience once they are inside is persuasively positive, any off-putting first-glance judgement can be turned around. What’s of key importance is that no single glaring negative element be present. If it is, it can seal a negative first impression…or undermine a positive one.