Homeowners that decide it’s time to sell their beloved home understand that they have to do certain things in order to make it appealing to buyers. Although they may have invested a lot of time and money into hiring cleaning companies and contractors to focus on the inside, potential buyers will see the outside first. Make no mistake, their first impression will set the tone for every other benefit the home has to offer. There are several ways to make sure they get the right impression from the start.
Ask for opinions
A person’s home is their castle and if they’ve lived there a while, they’ve created a lot of fond memories during the time they’ve lived there. However, friends, relatives, and neighbors are the ones looking at it from the outside every day. They don’t have the same emotional attachments to it that the homeowner does. Odds are, those outsiders will see things the current owner isn’t even aware of. Chances are, they’ll have a few ideas that hadn’t been thought of that will make the home more appealing to someone else.
Start at the curb
When driving up to the house, what’s the first thing that pops out? Does everything look well cared for? Even the mailbox out front will give others a first impression of what is to come on the inside. Replace it if it’s worn out, rusty, old, and unattractive. Is the driveway in good repair? A quick power wash will get rid of oil spots and other stains on the drive in a hurry. Fixing cracks or resealing the asphalt will make the drive look brand new and inviting. Cleaning the walkway will remove dirt, debris and any stains on it as well.
Tidy up the yard
One of the easiest things that a seller can do to improve a home’s curb appeal is to clean up the yard. Make sure there’s no trash, yard waste, or other debris on the property. Go around and pull out dead plant material, rake the leaves and remove any fallen branches from trees. Remove any unnecessary items that make the yard look cluttered. Start the clean up right at the roadside, even if it’s not officially part of the property. If there’s a sidewalk out front, sweep it up, remove the weeds and make it look as inviting, and well-kept as possible.
Do some landscaping
A pretty green lawn is incredibly attractive, especially to buyers with children and pets. Bare spots in the yard should be patched or seeded. Trees, bushes and other shrubbery should be trimmed in a pleasing way. Things as simple as planting a few blooming flowers around the entrance, driveway and mailbox can make a big difference to a potential buyer. While most of these things can be done by the average homeowner, a landscape company can make quick work of pesky areas that are not so attractive. They’ll also offer suggestions about what types of plants are best for the climate.
Update the exterior
A home with worn, faded siding, or paint is nowhere near as appealing as one with a freshly updated exterior. If it’s in the budget to replace the siding, it may well bring a higher sales price. That’s not to say that a homeowner has to make a huge investment in new siding or a new paint job. Sometimes, all that’s needed is a good scrubbing and some minor repairs and the home will look measurably better. The same holds true for the home’s exterior doors and windows. If they’re dirty, old, outdated, broken, or in disrepair, they detract from the home and make it less appealing. Clean the windows and replace panes of glass or the entire window. Install new entry doors or paint existing doors with a bright, contrasting color that catches the eye and invites people in.
Getting ready to put a home on the market can be a daunting and even confusing task. It’s hard to know just what should be done and what’s just too much to invest in terms of time and money. Starting from the curb and working back towards the house with a keen eye on even the smallest details is the best route.
In some cases, all that’s required is some hard work, elbow grease and a few hours of time. Other times, a bit more work is in order. Homeowners should be careful, however, as to how much they do. Some investments simply do not offer enough of a return to make them feasible. The best route is to start small and see what happens rather than putting too much in and not getting anything out.