Curb Appeal-The It Factor
If you are wanting to get the most bang for your buck, focusing on a few things to freshen up your curb appeal. You only get one chance to make a first impression and buyers do judge a book by its cover. And I get to string two cliché’s in a single sentence. Buyers may not decide which home to buy simply by pulling into the driveway, but many will decide which NOT to buy before stepping foot into your home.
A few things to consider when spending your time, effort, and money on when you've decided to prepare your house to go on the market. You get a sort of tunnel vision when it comes to the appearance of your home. You forget about that leaning mail box, the overgrown shrub in front of your window(s), the grass growing in the cracks of your driveway. But buyers are quickly deciding how the exterior of your home has been maintained and how it likely reflects to how your home is taken care of in-general. There are many systems that require maintenance such as HVAC, plumbing, and electrical. Many of these systems can be costly to replace and showing that you take care of the outward appearance of your home helps reassure potential buyers that the home is well taken care of.
Here is a list of a few things to consider doing that won't break the bank but will attract buyers to your home over the competition.
Fresh coat of paint on any painted surfaces that show fading, chips, and wear. No one wants to buy a home and then have to immediately paint exteriors. Not unless they are looking for a fixer-upper, in that case they are looking for a deal and will come in with a low offer.
New address numbers, let them easily find your/THEIR home. Nothing more frustrating than driving through potential neighborhoods to consider purchasing and then not knowing which house you are looking for, they will quickly move on.
Clutter, toys, abandoned projects, stacks of materials, old decoration (particularly seasonal) I love Christmas lights but he, maybe May isn't the best time to still have them up, usually drooping from their originally installed position.
LANDSCAPING, let's deal with what we've got. Clear your beds of weeds, thin overgrown ground cover, cut back shrubs-I recommend nothing above your windows, they are the eyes into the soul of your house, and inside overgrown bushes and trees will make your rooms feel darker and smaller. Keep your grass green and cut, even if you have weeds throughout your lawn, they look better cut than letting them get knee deep. If you need to move prior to selling your home, do yourself a favor and hire lawn maintenance.
Plant some color along walkways, perhaps flower boxes by windows and doorways. If your house lacks color some fresh flowers can add a quick refresh to draw attention.
If your front door hardware is worn, plain, or need of some TLC, a quick coat of paint could do the trick. I love oil rubbed bronze, it's a quick coat or two with a $5 can of spray paint.
Windows-replace or remove torn screens, repair cracked and missing caulking. Keep any blinds and shades open. Nothing screams "Go Away" more than drawn shades.
Light fixtures, broken fixtures, missing bulbs, weathered, or boring. Here is an opportunity to set your home aside from the other homes with the pre-installed, builder grade, plane-Jane, generic lighting. Be sure what you choose matches the type of architecture and scale of your home. Leave them on early evening until you head to bed. I often tell new clients to drive around in the evenings. You get a feel of how busy or quiet a neighborhood is, what the parking situation is around the area, perhaps safety and lighting of public areas near the property. So leaving the lights on gives a feeling of security and again will be a beacon for buyers that are previewing homes.