How to Optimize Your House’s Curb Appeal

You might believe that your house is real estate market-ready. However, if you fail to allocate the necessary time and resources to boost your house’s curb appeal, you may miss out on opportunities to showcase the true beauty of your residence to potential buyers.

Fortunately, there are many proven ways to enhance your house’s curb appeal, and these include:

1. Perform Home Exterior Maintenance

Consider the homebuyer’s perspective as you assess your residence’s exterior – you’ll be glad you did. Because if you approach your residence like a homebuyer would, you may be able to identify “hidden” problem areas faster than ever before.

For example, if you notice damaged home siding or a messy front lawn, you should perform assorted home exterior maintenance and repairs. This will enable you to eliminate any home exterior eyesores before you list your residence.

2. Conduct a Property Inspection

If you want to go above and beyond the call of duty to assess your home exterior, you should conduct a property inspection. That way, you can work with a house expert to detect and resolve any home exterior issues.

During a property inspection, a home expert will evaluate your residence both inside and out. Then, the home expert will provide a report that outlines his or her inspection findings.

Review the results of a property inspection closely. The inspection report likely will contain valuable insights that you can use to prioritize myriad home exterior upgrades. And if you complete these upgrades, you may be able to transform an ordinary home exterior into a stunning one.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

The real estate market can be difficult to navigate, particularly for a seller who wants to improve a house’s exterior as quickly as possible. Luckily, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can make it simple to find ways to enhance your residence’s exterior.

A real estate agent is happy to provide recommendations about how you can upgrade your residence’s exterior without breaking your budget. Thus, this housing market professional can help you get the best possible results from any home exterior improvement projects.

Of course, let’s not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the home selling journey, either.

A real estate agent will help you list your residence and promote it to potential buyers. He or she will even review offers on your house and negotiate with a buyer’s agent on your behalf. With all of this support, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to maximize your home sale earnings.

If you’re unsure about how to improve your home’s curb appeal or perform various home selling tasks, you should hire a real estate agent. By employing a top-notch real estate agent, you can speed up the home selling process and increase the likelihood of a profitable home sale.

Put Your Best Foot Forward When Selling Your Home

Although your real estate agent will do the lion’s share of the work involved in selling your home, there are several things you, the homeowner, can do to help move things along.

By making sure your home is always ready to be shown at a moments notice to prospective buyers, you will be helping to “tip the scales” in the direction of a faster sale. Since making a great first impression is crucial to the sales process, it’s important that your home always looks its best — both inside and out. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you decide to put your home on the market.

Order versus chaos: Every time your real estate agent sets up a showing of your house, it’s an opportunity to attract and engage potential buyers. When your house and property look organized, clean, and well cared for, it sends a series of positive messages to prospects.

Admittedly, it can be a little bit of a hassle to keep your house looking (and smelling) immaculate all the time, but doing so can definitely work in your favor when it comes to making a great impression and getting your house sold faster.

To the extent that it’s possible, try to eliminate or significantly reduce anything that could be described as “clutter.” Clutter can include anything from excessive furniture and wall hangings to knick-knacks on your shelves and too many containers on kitchen countertops.

The ultimate effect you want to achieve is one of spaciousness, tastefulness, and organization. Anything which detracts from those desirable qualities could potentially work against you. As the classic 1980s TV commercial for a well-known dandruff shampoo reminds us: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression!”

Remember curb appeal: Actually the real first impression happens before prospective buyers even enter your home or step on your property. In many cases, it occurs before they even get out of their cars!

Making sure your house and property look as impeccable as possible from the street can help attract potential buyers and put them in a more receptive state of mind. Maintaining a manicured, clutter-free lawn, highlighted by a few splashes of floral color, can be an effective way to create eye-appeal and make a positive first impression.

One thing home sellers are either unaware of or forget about is the fact that prospective buyers sometimes do a preliminary “drive by” before picking up the phone and calling your (or their) real estate agent to schedule a showing. If they do not like what they see from their car, they probably are not going to take the next step and arrange a full tour of your home.

When you come to the realization that every person who drives by or visits your home is a potential buyer, you’ll be more motivated to take care of the many details that either attract of send away prospective buyers.

Small Issues Can Impact Your House Selling Success

All house buyers have different pet peeves when it comes to evaluating homes, but there are a lot of easy fixes you can do to reduce the chances of losing a sale. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Squeaky doors: Lubricating squeaky hinges is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your chances of making a positive impression on prospective home buyers. A seemingly small thing like squeaky door hinges can make your house seem old, poorly maintained, and in disrepair. A squeaky door hinge is probably not going to make or break the sale of your house, but in combination with other little flaws that prospects might notice, it could have a major impact.

Weeds cropping up: Another clear signal to prospects that your property hasn’t been properly maintained — at least in their minds — is the existence of weeds. Other than an overgrown lawn, nothing detracts from curb appeal more than weeds coming up everywhere, especially in driveway cracks, walkways, and front steps. If your home is on the market or you’re considering selling it in the near future, getting rid of noticeable weeds will help improve your property’s curb appeal and make a better impression on prospective buyers. If you hate the idea of handling or applying commercial weed killers, non-toxic household items like vinegar or salt have been known to nip the weed problem in the bud. Whether you use store-bought herbicides or natural remedies, make sure you don’t damage any nearby plants that you want to protect. In some cases, manually pulling out weeds and carefully digging out the roots is the most risk-free approach, although it’s also the most labor intensive!

Dust and cobwebs: No matter how thorough you think you’ve been in cleaning your house, you’re probably going to miss a few spots that prospective buyers will notice. In small amounts, a little dust is not going to make or break your sale, but like squeaky door hinges, small problems add up! Areas that homeowners and house cleaners often overlook include baseboards, ceiling fans, and corners of ceilings.

Unpleasant odors: If your house smells like pets, mold, or mothballs, that sometimes can be a deal breaker. Bad odors are a major sensory turnoff that could easily sour people on the idea of making an offer on your house. Musty odors are often indicative of a larger problem, such as a damp basement, leaky pipes, water damage, or mold infestation. Eliminating odors prior to having your house shown can be as simple as doing a thorough cleaning, or as complex and expensive as hiring a mold remediation service.

The good news about preparing your home for sale is that a seasoned real estate agent can provide you with the advice, guidance, and help you need to maximize your chances for attracting offers and selling your property for its full market value.

Curb Appeal

Selling a house is a stressful experience. You have to look at your home
with the eyes of a potential buyer and, when you do, all those nicks, stains,
scratches and worn finishes become glaringly obvious. The same thing
happens when you look around your yard: all those flaws you’ve managed
to ignore all these years suddenly become visible.

There are many things you can do–with or without professional help–to fix
up your property and get it ready for sale. Most people focus on the house
itself; after all, freshly painted walls and steam cleaned carpets do make a
big difference. But there’s one area that’s often overlooked–one that can
make a big difference not only in attracting potential buyers but also in
sales value. “Curb appeal”: you’ve probably heard the phrase before. But
what exactly is it and what can you do to achieve it?

Curb appeal is evident in that first glance at your property: does it look
well-kept, is it attractive, does it look like someplace your prospective
buyer would like to call home? The first step is to take a walk around your
property, looking at it as if you were a stranger. It can be very helpful to
have your realtor take this inventory with you–a trained eye can make a big
difference.

Look for the obvious things first: bald spots in your lawn, overgrown
shrubs, cracked steps, dandelions, piles of leaves and sticks. Make a list of
everything you see. It may seem overwhelming and you may not have the
means to take care of everything, but prioritizing will help. If you can afford
professional help, all the better; if you can’t, there are things you can do
yourself to improve the appearance of your property.

The following list will help:

• Start with general yard clean-up: remove any branches, piles of leaves or
dead plants. If you have a dog, make sure there are no “land mines”
on the property.

• Reseed and fertilize your lawn; make sure it’s kept mown and watered
at all times while you’re trying to sell. Take an edger and neaten
up where the grass meets walkways and foundation. If you have
areas of dead grass, consider treating for grubs. And, get rid of those
dandelions!

• Trim overgrown shrubs, especially those close to your house. If you don’t
have any shrubs, consider buying a few. Even a small evergreen on
either side of the front door can make a welcoming difference.

• If you have flower beds, make sure they’re free of weeds. Renew or add
a layer of mulch around flowers, shrubs and any trees you have in
your yard. Not only does mulch keep weeds down and help retain
moisture in the soil, it makes the beds look neater. mulch comes in
different colors: choose one that will complement your flowers and
your house. If your yard slopes, a low stone retaining wall will not only
hold the soil (and flowers) in place, but it will also make the bed look
neater.

• What about the approach to your house–do you have a walkway? If you
do, it may need replacing. If you don’t, now is the time to add one;
even a few simple pavers between the driveway and the front door
can make a difference. If you don’t have a railing on your front steps,
consider adding one. Make sure your front door is clean and in good
shape.

• Do you have a driveway? If you have asphalt, look for cracks and oil
stains. If you have dirt, consider laying down some gravel or pea
stone.

• Fencing can make a big difference in your home’s salability. People with
young children or dogs will most likely want one for safety’s sake.
Privacy is another reason for fencing; it doesn’t have to be a stockade
fence–a few fast-growing evergreens like arborvitae can make a big
difference. Aesthetics is another reason to edge your property. If your
home is in a rural area, you may already–like many homeowners in
New England–have a stone wall around your property. If so, check it
for loose or fallen rocks.

• If you don’t have any perennial flower beds, consider planting some
annuals. Flats of bright, long-lasting blooms like marigolds and
impatiens are inexpensive and add to your yard’s beauty. As with
any plants, consider the growing zone in which you live. If you’re
purchasing shrubs or perennials, choose ones that are hardy and
require little maintenance. If the soil has a high clay concentration,
loosen it up and enrich it by mixing in some loam.

• If you have a deck, you may need to power wash and re-stain or paint it.
Check for loose support beams; sand any areas that feel rough and
might produce splinters. If you have a patio, make sure it is free of
weeds and cracks. Consider replacing a cement patio with slate or
brick which not only look nicer but are easier to replace.

• Check your outdoor lighting; replace the bulbs, remove any dead insects.
If you don’t have any, consider adding some. If you can’t afford
wiring, solar-battery stake lights are inexpensive. If your mailbox is
battered or wobbly, replace it.

It sounds like a lot to consider and there’s no denying that selling your
home can be a difficult thing on more than one level. You want the
highest price you can get, however, and these things that add curb appeal
will increase your home’s value and can make the difference between
someone who makes an appointment to look at your home and someone
who drives by and keeps on going.