First Impressions: “Curb Appeal”

50% of purchase decisions are made during the first 60 seconds a buyer sees your home.  To help improve your curb appeal, make sure to look at your home’s exterior with an objective eye.  You can ask friends and neighbors for their opinions.  Your real estate professional should be able to help give you some tips to spruce up the exterior of your home.

Make sure that you clean up the front of the home, and get rid of rubbish, junked cars, extra toys, etc.  This is the first thing the buyer sees, and you want to make sure you give them a good impression.  Keep your yard tidy: mow the lawn, keep the gardens weeded, and remove dead plants and trees to make sure your home looks its best while on the market.  If your front yard is in disrepair, many buyers will never stop to see the inside.

Adding some colorful plants and flowers, either in planters or in the garden can help brighten up the exterior of a home.  If the paint looks faded or is peeling, invest in a new paint job before marketing your home.  If this is impractical, at least hose off the exterior and paint the trim, shutters, gutters and railings to give your home a face lift.  Make sure you repair any damaged asphalt or concrete, and clean up any grease or oil spots.

Clean the front porch or entryway.  Replace your front door if the current one is outdated or warped.  Fix any broken windows or shutters, and repair any torn screens.  Clean doors and windows, polish door handles, knockers, and lighting fixtures.  Make sure all exterior lights are working, and keep them turned on.  Fix any broken or wobbly steps.  Replace old worn out items, like the mailbox or doorbell.  If it’s winter, make sure the snow is removed from the porch, steps and walkway, and that any icy areas are sanded to prevent people from falling.

Check the roof and replace any missing or damaged shingles.  Remove any moss and debris from the roof, and prune back any trees that may be touching the house or the roof.

If you are planning to market your home during the winter, make sure to take some photos of the home during the summer, and have them available for potential buyers to view.  This will show the buyers the condition of the roof and the landscaping, which are always concerns when purchasing a home buried under several feet of snow.  I’m always happy to take exterior digital photos during the summer and save them for winter marketing.

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