11 Ways to Increase Curb Appeal
Interest Buyers in Your House by Making a Great First Impression
One of the best things you can do to make your property more appealing to potential buyer is to create a good first impression. First impressions are lasting and important. After you've lived in your home for a while, it's easy to forget or ignore the problem areas that are obvious to someone seeing it for the first time. Small things add up, and negative impressions that are made in the first couple of minutes can spoil your house for a potential buyer.
Remember the Mailbox
Check your mailbox and trim away any dead or overgrown foliage. A canted or rusting mailbox looks like a smile with a rotten tooth. You may just need to straighten things up a bit or replace the mailbox entirely, but often it's the first thing a potential buyer sees when he drives up to your property, so make it presentable.
Don’t Leave Anything Underfoot
No one wants to buy someone else's clutter, even unconsciously, so make sure your entry is clear of empty pots and containers, dead plants, newspapers, toys, bicycles or anything else that draws attention to the life you live instead of the place where you live it.
Check the Door
Your door is a focal point for anyone coming up your walkway. People will recognize that your door needs to be cleaned or painted before they'll read the “welcome” on your doormat. Check the doorknob and hardware for tarnish. If you have windows in or around your door, make sure they are clean. That goes for the storm door too. Replace your front door screens if they are torn or obviously discolored.
Want to add some pzazz to your front entry? Add pots on either side of your entrance with a colorful flower. If you have the funds then large, ornate pots make a real statement.
Any fencing visible from the front of the house should be straight, not leaning. Wood fencing should look clean, and chain-link fencing should be sprayed with metal fence paint if rust is visible.
Window shutters should be straight and free of peeling paint, dead leaves, and cobwebs. If your vinyl shutters have faded and you want to restore some of the color, try cleaning them with soap and water and then wiping them down with a penetrating cleaner. Try cleaning a small inconspicuous area first to see if you like the results.
Clean, shining, windows add sparkle to your home and show that you care. If you are planning on ignoring this step, do a little test. Clean one window in the back of your property and then compare the look with a nearby dirty window. You will be amazed.
Check your exterior for mold and clean as needed. Pressure washers are great for this kind of work, but a sponge and bucket work too. Most mold and dirt residue comes off pretty easily, so this job looks harder than it is.
Painting the exterior of your house can be costly. But a new coat on your window trim and house trim can give your home a new life.
A major driveway repair, whether its asphalt or concrete can be expensive, but even if your driveway isn’t in the best condition, you can make sure that the adjacent grass is neatly trimmed and any cracks are free of weeds.
Check the trees that are visible from the front of your property. If they are obviously diseased, consider having them removed. If they are growing in or around your lawn, trim the low lying branches to make them easy to mow around. No one loves to mow the lawn. Make a potential buyer think that mowing your lawn will be a breeze.
If you have minimal landscaping, think about filling any gaps with seasonal plants. If it isn’t the dead of winter, you can add color and interest inexpensively if you fill in around shrubs, or completely fill flowerbeds with blooms. Try putting larger plants in back, and then moving forward with the smaller varieties. Nurseries, discount department stores, and home improvement stores offer inexpensive seasonal foliage. They can also give you advise on the easiest and hardiest plants to grow in your area. If you have enough plants, but just want to make things look a little nicer, add a couple of inches of mulch.
Last Minute Touches
Make your house look welcoming by adding a wreath or mat to the door. You might also consider a large potted fern or a window box.
Check your curtains and blinds to make sure that they are hanging straight and look clean.
Have your house number prominently displayed on your property. Your mailbox will usually have your house number on it, but consider including one on the house itself where it is more easily visible from the street.
During holidays, decorate accordingly. Displaying the flag, putting out a pumpkin, or plaiting a Christmas garland along your banister, can help give your home warmth and curb appeal. But don’t overdue it. Too much decoration looks cluttered, so less is more.
Walk out to the front of your property and close your eyes. When you open them, try to see the familiar building and landscape the way a prospective buyer will see it. Make notes about the things you notice, and start working on the biggest problems first. Take pictures if you are going to try to enlist the help of your local home improvement store.
Many fixes can be completed quickly and inexpensively, and even larger ones can be manageable if you take them one step at a time.
Your goal is to present a first impression of your property that is free from jarring elements or obvious flaws. With a little planning you can ensure that your house makes a good first impression, one that leads to a sale.
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