NEW OLEAR BANNERWe?ve covered the topic of the importance of making a good first impression before. However, focusing on a good first impression should not be limited to the period of time that begins when you put a ?for sale? sign in the front yard and end when and if the ?sold? sign takes its place. Today, you have to be on your toes year-round.

Why is that? The answer is simple: Technology.

For example, the next time there?s a computer in front of you, go ahead and type in your street address. Like it or not, a photo of your house is likely to show up. And how does your house look? Is the property cluttered? Does the landscaping look overgrown? Because you don?t even know when the photo was taken and posted, there?s no opportunity for a second chance. And, this is the first photo people may see for many years to come!

So what can you do? Well, first understand that no one is perfect and every once in a while you?re going to leave the garbage cans out front a little too long or maybe let the grass grow a little too high. Just don?t make a habit of it!

Instead, pay attention to the little things that can make a big difference, especially when you?ve decided to sell your home. For starters, wheel those garbage and recycling bins out of site, trim any trees or bushes on your property and consider adding some attractive window boxes under the front windows for a touch of natural beauty.

What other steps can you take? Put a fresh coat of paint on woodwork and railings, edge your lawn and add some attractive highlights such as a brass door knocker, new house numbers and a new mailbox. Replace outdated light fixtures, clean out the gutters … you get the picture!

No one should be a slave to their house … but a little common sense and some day-to-day effort will go a long way!