60 Second Rule

“The 60 Second Rule”

You’ll never get a second chance to make a great first impression…you’ve heard this before when it comes to an interview but did you know this advice can be used when it comes to selling your home? A buyer makes up their mind within the first 60 seconds of seeing your house, so making sure that first impression is the one that sells is important. The key is to think like a buyer. Get inside their head and see your home through their eyes, starting with yours before they’ve even left their own. Take advantage of these winning tips when it comes to selling your home.

So let’s start on the outside of the home…

Exterior is just as important as the interior and let’s face it; the exterior is the first thing the potential buyer sees. In reality, this could make or break your sale.

Curb appeal

Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. What is the buyer thinking when they pull up to the house and walk to the front door? Ensure the approach to the front door is calling the buyer home. The major elements to focus on are the walkway up to your house, the front door and any random ornaments. Hint: De-clutter and Depersonalize.


With less than a minute to make a great impression you have to make sure nothing gets in the way. Here are some easy and low budget tips to get the first impression that will sell your house:

  • Move the garbage bins or recycling tubs out of the way.
  • Keep the grass cut and tidy up your garden.
  • Weed the beds and lay fresh mulch to flower beds.
  • Fix that broken fence and apply fresh paint/stain to wooden fences
  • Power-wash the exterior. Visit your local hardware store and rent a power washer to clean the home’s exterior, patio and walkway.
  • Clean windows inside and out.
  • Fix gutters and downspouts. Ensure they are firmly attached and make sure the gutters are not full of leaves.
  • Paint the front door and update the hardware or, if budget allows, replace the door entirely.
  • Buy a new welcome mat.
  • Add a few flower pots near the front door.


You want to make it as easy as possible for the buyers to envision themselves coming home to your house every day. So remove anything that could act as a barrier to their imagination. If you have any decorations in your front garden make sure they appeal to everyone’s tastes. Sorry, but that goose you decorate at every holiday needs to go.

After the potential buyer makes it past the front door; they are excited to see what the interior of the home has to offer. Here’s your opportunity to make an even stronger impression. Again, think “De-clutter and Depersonalize”.


  • Make sure the entrance area of your home is clean and tidy
  • Evaluate the furniture in each room and remove anything that interrupts “the flow” or makes the room smaller. Consider renting a storage unit to move items off-site.
  • Clean out and organize cabinets, closets and bookshelves.
  • Clean all light fixtures and ceiling fans.
  • Shampoo carpets
  • Repair all plumbing leaks, including faucets and drain traps.
  • Make minor repairs (torn screens, sticking doors, cracked caulk, etc.)
  • Clean or replace discolored grout.
  • Replace broken tiles
  • Focus on the family hub –otherwise known as the kitchen. The kitchen is regularly cited as being the room that creates the strongest impression for any potential buyer. You need to ensure that there is no clutter in your kitchen, that the floors and counters are spotless and that there is a sense of order in this room in particular. Replace worn cabinet and door knobs. Replace worn countertops.


  • Remove excessive wall hangings and family portraits.
  • You may think the bright yellow paint is cheery but in reality, a bright, garish or loud style in a home is a turn-off for most buyers. Fresh paint is an inexpensive option to decorate the home in a neutral and tasteful way.

It’s Showtime!!!

You’ve decluttered and depersonalized and now your home is ready to be shown to potential buyers. Follow these tips for a successful showing:

  • Turn on all the lights.
  • Open all the drapes and shutters in the daytime.
  • Keep pets secured outdoors or ask a neighbor to take care of them
  • Buy new bedding for bedrooms.



  • Buy new towels for bathrooms.
  • Replace old lamps or lampshades.
  • Play quiet background music.
  • Light the fireplace or place lit candles in strategic areas of the house
  • Infuse home with a comforting scent; such as vanilla or apple spice.
  • Set the dining or kitchen table.

List your home with a professional and experienced realtor, Ania Sierdzinska, Keller Williams, Realty (Atlanta North). Staging your home will be performed by a professional stager at no cost to the seller. Home staging efforts as feature in this post performed by Krista Webb of Clever Girl Interiors.

Contact Ania today to get started.

Ania Sierdzinska

Multi-Million Dollar Club Member


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