By Carl Medford, CRS

The old adage used to be, “You have 60 seconds to sell your home.” Savvy sellers knew first impressions were everything, so they made sure the view from the curb was perfect and greeted anyone stepping inside with nice smells and well-staged rooms.

Everything has changed. Prior to the internet and especially smart phones, buyers needed to physically visit homes to determine if they were a fit. With the ability of devices to view high-def pictures, the need to visit every home has gone the way of the brontosaurus. Sellers no longer have 60 seconds – they have 15. And the time doesn’t start when buyers hit your sidewalk, it’s 15 seconds from when they view your home’s online profile. Buyers enter criteria and listings populate their phones. They begin moving from profile-to-profile. If a property’s first picture grabs their attention, they continue looking. If not, it’s swipe left and on to the next.

Compounding the issue, HGTV has dramatically elevated buyer tastes. They know exactly what they’re seeking because they’ve seen it on Pinterest and property shows. Homes that fit their criteria are explored online (think 3D tours) and if everything looks good, a nod is given for a visit. Those that fail the initial test are not given a second chance and a buyer, once they’ve crossed it off their list, will never darken the door.

Additionally, today’s buyers are different than their parents in another key area: they prefer move-in ready homes to those needing upgrades. With work and social events jamming their calendars, they want to come home, kick of their boots and regroup. Homes resonating the most with buyers are those that most closely resemble their HGTV ideals.

An effective way for sellers to deal with this mindset when prepping for sale is to remove potential objections. Figure out what features your home has that a buyer will NOT like and remove them. Expensive upgrades are not required – creativity goes a long way. It’s VERY possible to make kitchens gorgeous for $6-8,000 – not $60,000. Reface instead of replace. Use less expensive granite or quartz alternatives. Replacement flooring need not be expensive and you don’t need designer items. An experienced Realtor can guide you through the process and once you’re done, a professional stager can make it sizzle.

With a mere 15 seconds to get a yes, sellers that score are those who’ve successfully removed … objections.

Carl Medford is a licensed Realtor with Keller Williams Realty and a licensed general contractor. This article is sponsored by the Central County Marketing Association.