There’s a lot more that goes into selling a home than most people think. It’s not simply a matter of moving all of your furniture out, cleaning up, and getting someone to sign on the dotted line. You’ve got to make sure that you do everything in your power to wow potential buyers immediately upon entry to your home. As you might imagine, that’s easier said than done.

The First Impression

Research has shown that the average buyer has already formed an opinion on a home after being inside it for a mere 10 seconds. Think about it. That’s about the amount of time it takes for you to walk in the front door, wipe your feet on the mat, take a few steps inside, and look up. In other words, they’ve basically decided whether or not they want to buy it almost immediately.

So if you fail to make a good first impression, you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle the entire time they’re walking through the house. They’re going to have to search out things that are going to change their mind…and as you likely know, changing someone’s mind once it’s made up is no easy task. 

On the other hand, when someone walks into your front door and likes what they see, you’ve set the tone for a sale. The positive first impression invokes a positive attitude that sends the buyer looking for things to like, rather than pointing out all the negatives.

How to Set That Positive First Impression

So how can you set a good first impression? Well, you start with the front of your home. By improving your curb appeal, you can set the tone before they even open that door. So spend a little time and/or money on your landscaping, make sure your home has a fresh coat of paint, and fix any of those things on the outside of your home that you’ve been putting off.

As far as the inside of your home is concerned, obviously you want to make sure whatever the potential buyer sees when they open the front door is pleasant and inviting. Which leads us to the question—what’s more inviting—a clean, empty home, or a furnished, professionally staged home?

Should You Stage Your Home?

No matter how much people want to argue the point, the reality is that most people find it very difficult to envision their stuff in your house. We aren’t suggesting offering a blank slate (meaning an empty house), but “decluttering” your home, such as removing personal photos, keeping table-tops clear, and trimming back the knick-knacks is a good start.  That way instead of focusing on your belongings and the way you’ve decorated, their eyes will look past that and see the basic structures and selling points of your home.  Make sure to talk to your REALTOR® and hear their suggestions—after all, they look at houses almost every day.  If all else fails, hire a professional stager.

 Need help selling your home in the Outer Banks? Visit to get help from experienced real estate agents today.