By Toi Holliday

"A first impression is a lasting impression." This ancient proverb still stands true in many endeavors, including selling your home.

As of today, Los Angeles and the Inland Empire cities have thousands of homes listed publicly for sale; this does not include private home sales or sales without the use of traditional online marketing through hired agents, the MLS, Zillow, Trulia, Redfin and etc. Since home buyers have many options at their fingertips, it is in the best interest of the homeowner to make a good first impression by wowing prospective buyers.  Below are eight tips that can help you wow your prospective buyers which may lead to a fast and successful sell:

1. Get rid of clutter. I don’t think I need to go into detail on this topic; however, prospective buyers want to see the best highlights of your home and not your clutter from 1999 in the hallway covered in dust. If possible, clear out closets and corners to make your home appear larger. Move unnecessary furniture and personal belongings in storage or in your garage.


2. Make sure the house smells clean. There is nothing worse than a prospective buyer walking into a smelly home. It is recommended to open windows if the weather permits; clean the carpets, clean the upholstery, clean all pet areas and get rid of dust bunnies to eliminate odors. You may want to consider using light aromatic candles, wall diffusers or air fresheners for a nice scent throughout the home. I would not recommend using incense, because they produce smoke vapors and can leave a room looking smoky and are typically strong scented.


3. Kitchen and bathrooms are important to the buyer and both should be clean and clutter free. There are many solvents you can purchase for removing grime from around sinks, toilets and faucets. For example, baking soda is great for bringing out a new shine on old fixtures.


4. Make any needed minor repairs. Replace cracked blinds, fix leaky faucets, replace torn window screens, replace broken floor tiles and repair the hole behind the door. Although these items are small, they do not make a good impression to a prospective buyer.


5. Keep your home in a clean manner. Make sure window panes, blinds, light switch plates, doors and moldings are extra clean (please don't forget to clean the floor molding in the bathroom).


6. Refresh paint where necessary and try to neutralize colors throughout your home. The black and fluorescent green rooms are really cool for those of us who are eclectic artists at heart, but this can also be the reason for a prospective buyer to subtract monies from a potential offer.


7. Stage your home. Once your home is clean and clutter free, it’s time to decorate. You can find thousands of DIY sites with home decorating tips to help dress up your home; you can also coordinate something with your agent if you need assistance.


8. Curb Appeal. Clean your yard. Make the front area and doors look fresh and clean. Cut the lawn, get rid of weeds, clear up the junk and display colored potted flowers to add a warm inviting feeling.


Home buyers are looking for the best match to meet the needs of their family and budget. With so many choices available, you want to stand out and make a prospective buyer imagine living in the home you are selling.


Making a good first impression will save you time, money and may result in a fast-successful sell.


For more details and tips on how to sell your home for top value, please request a free copy of my book, Selling Secrets You Can't Afford to Miss.

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