Selling - Improving Your Curb Appeal

By: Lee Keadle

When potential buyers drive up to your house, the first thing they see is the front of your house. And, buyers know that usually the exterior of the house is a good indicator of the inside of the house. The old saying that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover does not apply to real estate! So, the front of your home can make a very important first impression on potential buyers. As a seller, you want to make the best first impression possible. You want your home to have curb appeal and make buyers want to see the rest of the house. We've included seven ways to improve your curb appeal:

1) Mow the lawn regularly while your home is on the market. If you have patches in your yard where grass doesn't grow, you can either sow some grass seeds or sod the areas. If the bare area is at the base of a tree, you could turn the spot into a flower bed.

2) While we're on the subject of flower beds, be sure to keep these areas weeded when trying to sell your home. Adding pine straw or mulch can freshen up your yard and make your yard look well cared for.

3) Add some color to your yard by planting flowers. You can use them in beds, hanging baskets, or flower pots. Planting flowers can help to liven up a house, especially if the home is older or more traditional. And, be sure to pick vibrant colors over pastels or white in order to give the full effect.

4) Clean your windows. People always look out of the windows when they're viewing a home. So, cleaning the windows will help the view from the interior and the exterior!

5) Use a pressure washer to clean sidewalks and driveways. Pressure washing cement, especially, can make it look as though it was freshly poured.

6) Make your front door inviting. Since most potential buyers enter your home through the front door, you want to pay attention to this part of your home. If there are any shoe marks at the base (or hand marks near the handle), be sure to clean those. Depending on the type of door you have, you can also give it a fresh coat of paint.

7) Examine your home's exterior. If your home has siding, check to see how clean it is. If you see collected dirt or pollen, you can clean these surfaces fairly easily with a pressure washer. If your home is painted, check to make sure the paint is not chipping away. If your home was painted recently, you may just want to hose off (or gently pressure wash) any visible dirt. If your home is in need of new paint, be sure to choose neutral colors.

Improving your curb appeal can help in two ways. First, if the home looks inviting in the pictures from the MLS report or from advertisements, potential buyers will want to go see it. So, your home will be shown more often. The second way that curb appeal helps is almost more important than the first. Since you can't make a first impression twice, the exterior of your home (along with the yard) will tell the buyers immediately whether the home has been taken care of. The buyers will also be able to tell how they feel about the home in general when they drive up to it. If you think that your home may be lacking curb appeal, be sure to follow our seven tips to improve your home's appeal!

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