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I have always raised my children that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, not the outside; however when it comes to real estate, first impressions are everything! Just think about it…would you buy a car that had a rebuilt engine and interior if the outside was completely beaten up or the paint was rusted? Some might say yes because they could have it repainted, but they would want it cheap. Most would pay more for a car with an amazing interior and pristine paint, and it would sell a lot quicker. The same goes with homes. Bottom line is that homes that are beautiful inside and out sell much faster than those without curb appeal!
This is the busiest time of the year in the real estate world, which is wonderful, but it also means that there is a ton of competition out there. Many times I may show 10-20 homes in one day to one client, and sometimes they drive around and preview homes before we even go inside. Many times a home gets passed up if the home doesn’t have great curb appeal. It doesn’t matter how adorable it is on the inside because my clients never make it inside.
When it comes time to list your home, you must separate yourself from your home and look at it as you were a buyer! I have a few tips for you to make it a little easier for you!
Step 1…walk out on to the street and look at your home from the street level. Look at it through the eyes of a buyer. Is wooden garage door in dire need of new stain, is the paint chipping, how does the front door look? Is the home warm and welcoming or does it look like it hasn’t been maintained in years? If they think the outside is bad, they will assume that the inside is worse! Paint is one of the easiest fixes. Nothing makes a home look more inviting than freshly painted trim and doors, newly stained shutters or garage door.
Step 2…look at the landscaping. Is the grass green, are the hedges trimmed, is the lawn edged, and are there fresh flowers? Nothing looks worse than a dead yard, over grown landscaping, or dead plants/flowers in the yard. You can make the home look great with just a few minor adjustments. Pull any weeds, trim the bushes, edge the yard, throw out some mulch, and grab a few new flowers for the flower beds. You might even get some adorable pots and plant some flowers in them for the front entry! You have no idea how different the same home can look with some easy landscaping touches.
Step 3…have an agent or an inspector look for things that might be potential problems in an inspection so you nip them in the bud before you ever have a buyer. I am not saying that I am an inspector; however, I have been on enough inspections to know what things could show up on a report. A few of these things are rotten wood, limbs touching the roof, broken window seals, and drainage issues. Many of these things are easy fixes but can alarm potential buyers. Have a realtor walk around and show you potential problems, or hire an inspector to do a pre-listing inspection to find anything that could be wrong with the home! This may cost you a little money on the front end, but it could potentially save a sale(and quite a bit of money) on the back end!!
Step 4…Look at the drive way and walkway. Again, it’s all about first impressions. If you have a low spot in your sidewalk that holds water, it can turn a little green and is just gross looking! That is an easy fix with just a little bleach, and it makes a huge difference! If the sidewalk or driveway is badly damaged, you might replace or repair it as this is the path that leads to your home!
Step 5…De-clutter and clean! Wash all the windows inside and out, pick up any toys or old patio furniture that might be sitting in the front yard, and change all the light bulbs. Make sure your walk way is clean and inviting, and even look at your home during the night to see how it appears at night.
The bottom line is that no matter how beautiful your home is inside, many may not have the chance to see that if they drive by and it looks as if someone may not even live there or doesn’t care! The most important thing you can do is hire a professional to help you get your home ready to list and sell in the time you want for the money you want!
For this and other tips, give me, Farrah Spears, a call at 979-229-0919