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As the old saying goes, first impressions are lasting impressions. And smart home sellers make sure they get off to a good start with potential buyers by focusing on those aspects of their homes that guests will see right away.

Stage your porch. If your home has a porch or deck, look over the condition. If it’s made of wood, consider if it needs to be painted or stained, and also check for loose boards. Once your porch is in good condition, clear everything off it and sweep it thoroughly. Look over the furniture on your porch. Replacing cushions for outdoor furniture is a quick and affordable fix. A new doormat is another affordable step that shows visitors you pay attention to details.

Check your doors. Clean both your screen doors and main doors. Clean, or even replace, the screens, and make sure doors are on their hinges correctly and that they don’t squeak. If your front door has seen better days, a good painting can really spruce it up.

It’s all about details. Let potential buyers know that your home is well cared for by doing things like cleaning your mailbox. Clean the windows in the front of your house and think about power washing as well.

Stepping in. Your foyer is your first opportunity to give visitors an idea of what your home’s interior is like. In staging your foyer, start by making sure it’s clean. If you have a coat rack, don’t overstuff it with coats and jackets. Lay down an indoor mud carpet on rainy days, and later in the winter when there’s snow on the ground.

You don’t want visitors tripping over shoes, it’ll make people think the home lacks storage space. So keep shoes in your hall closet, which, by the way, should also be neat and organized in case people take a look.

Decorate your foyer. Consider painting your foyer a warm and neutral color, and placing a table for mail and keys is another nice touch. Think about the lighting in this area as well, and decorate the foyer with flowers or a beautiful work of art.

And now you’re off to a great start that will get people excited about seeing the rest of your home!

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