Selling your home: first impressions matter

What’s the first thing you notice when you walk into a room – the smell, the colour of the walls or whether it’s tidy?

Scented candle

a scented candle

Those are the key issues that strike most potential buyers when they arrive to view your property, and if you don’t get them right, you could lose a sale.

It doesn’t matter than the house is close to a good school and has a fabulous garden; if someone finds your taste in decoration questionable, it can put them off completely.

You may enjoy being surrounded by bright colours and patterned walls, but your prospective buyers may not.

And because you just don’t know the tastes of the people that will come through your door to view, it’s best to keep it simple.

The reason that neutral decoration such as white or magnolia walls works best when you’re selling is because it creates a blank canvas that allows people to visualise how a room will look with their own things in there.




It’s the same with clutter. You may have rooms piled high with furniture and things that you haven’t put away, and just don’t notice anymore. But rest assured – other people will notice.

While some people can see beyond clutter and are able to imagine an empty room, most unfortunately don’t and only see what’s in front of their noses.



House viewers aren’t coming to judge you on your tidiness, but they are coming to get an idea of what it would be like to live in your home, surrounded by their own things.

So make it easy for them: tidy up, de-clutter and go for the minimalistic look while you’re selling.

You may have seen the recent TV advert that talks about people going ‘nose blind’ to smells in their home – they are so used to them that they don’t notice them anymore.

But think about when you walk into a new place for the first time, and we’d bet the smell is one of the initial things that hit you.

It’s a key issue if you have pets; while you don’t notice the smell of your dog, other people will and you need to take steps to minimise it.

Open windows, fresh cut flowers, burning scented candles and yes – baking bread or brewing coffee – are all great ways to make the smell of your home more attractive.