The first impression when a buyer drives up to your home is critical. Curb appeal is the first time for buyers to fall in love with your home. Remember that feeling when you first walked up to your home, hoping it was “the one?” We want to try and re-create that experience again. Our first suggestion is to walk across the street and look at your home through the eyes of a buyer. Be tough on yourself. What do you see?
Trim and House Paint
Take a hard look at the front door and trim. Give special attention to this because this is where buyers will get their first opportunity to make a close inspection of your home. Repainting the doors and trim to help make the house look crisp and in good condition is one of the least expensive things you can do to dress up a home. Don’t be afraid of a pop of color! Hit up your local paint or hardware store for some inspiration.
We live in a climate where wood houses, wood windows and the outside elements are not bff’s. Look for soft, rotted wood or holes within your trim and siding. There are many options to repair or improve these areas either by DIY or hiring a contractor.
Examine your exterior light fixtures. This is an inexpensive way to upgrade your home by modernizing them, if needed. A sale rack works just as great as paying full price when upgrading. Ensure all fixtures are operating properly and have proper bulbs/wattage. Perhaps change to a motion sensor. Depending on the time of the year, it can get dark before 5 p.m. and as agents and buyers walk around your home, lighting is key.
Decks, Porches & Patios
Sweep all decks, walks, porches and patios and keep them tidy. Remove any moss or debris from all decks, walks and patios. Decks should be pressure-washed, stained or painted if they need it. Look for tripping hazards or signs that concrete or brick may be failing due to water intrusions.
Reduce clutter on decks, porches and patios so that they look bigger. Get rid of old flowerpots, barbecues, charcoal, planters, toys, construction materials and excess furniture.
If you have outdoor furniture, create one simple ‘room setting’ of clean furniture that will remind buyers of the usefulness of the space.
Plants begin as little and cute. They seem just right, and then suddenly they’re so big we hardly know how to take care of them. If you need to trim, do it now. Remove and, if needed, replace all dead plants. Cut back all shrubs to window height so they don’t block light or view.
Rake and weed flower beds. If possible, spread new mulch, gravel or lava rock to put a finishing touch on the landscaping. Regrade low areas around your home. Mow lawn and keep it mowed on a weekly basis during the growing season.
Clean gutters and attach downspouts so water is diverted away from home. The number one cause of basement water intrusion is poorly maintained gutters, downspouts (stay away from the flexible kind – water can pool in there if not properly angled) and grading.
Examine trees and remove if dead or decaying. Emerald ash borer is an invasive wood boring beetle that attacks ash trees and has been found throughout this area. These trees need to be specially treated and cannot be moved from the county.
A little bit of time and elbow grease with these few but valuable steps will bring a “wow factor” before your buyer even enters your home.