My previous post included some reminders for home sellers of small things you can do to enhance your home’s appeal to potential buyers. These were easy and usually inexpensive things that make a big difference. They were all inside ideas. But how about the outside of your home?
Curb appeal is so important! You’ve probably heard the expression–there’s never a second chance to make a good first impression. It’s true for people and it’s true for homes too. An overgrown yard, peeling paint, dirty or broken outdoor light fixtures, dead plants, a messy entrance–they are a turn-off and lead a potential buyer into your home with an attitude of looking for other things that may be in disrepair. But there are things you can do to improve your home’s curb appeal and they don’t necessarily involve huge expense.
First–keep your yard mowed and trimmed. Even in winter months when your grass is likely dormant and not growing, it still needs to be mowed periodically and watered. And it goes without saying that in spring/summer growing season, yards need to be mowed and edged regularly.
Landscaping–spruce it up! If you have dead plants, remove them and, if necessary, replace them. Get weeds out of your yard and planting beds. Trim bushes back and remove deadwood. Add some mulch to your beds to keep the soil moist and make things look neat. Add some seasonal color with flowers, potted plants, hanging baskets.
Sidewalks, porches, driveways–keep them neat and clear. For safety’s sake, be sure to remove and put away toys, lawn tools, hoses, anything else that could cause someone to trip. If you have cracks or uneven places in your walkways, consider having them fixed. In season, keep walkways and driveways clear of leaves, acorns, etc. (May be easier said than done! My driveway, sidewalks, and yard are full of acorns right now from the live oak trees in my front yard!)
Fix the house’s exterior. Clean the front door–if it’s tired, paint it. Consider replacing the front door hardware. And, as mentioned in the previous post, check the front door lock! Be sure it’s in good repair and easy to turn! If your exterior lights are old and outdated, replace them. Does your home have gutters? Be sure they’re clear and in good repair. Exterior trim should be free of wood rot and look clean and freshly painted. How about the roof? If yours is really old or needs to be replaced, consider having that done or you may choose to offer buyers a price reduction or allowance so they can take care of it later.
Bottom line--look at your home like a buyer will. Walk around and check things and fix what’s broken! If your home is in need of major repairs and you’re not willing or able to make them, then you’ll need to address them with your pricing. And remember, during the holidays, keep your decorations in check! This is not the time to have the most decorated house in the neighborhood! Keep cords out of the way. With a little attention, your home can sparkle and show at its best.