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If there is one single thing you could do to increase traffic in your house that would cost you little to NO money at all, would you do it? Or, has your house been listed for a while, with showing dropping? Or, are you about to list your house and want to know where to put the most BANG for your BUCK? The answer to all of these questions is the same..Curb Appeal!
Ahhh Curb Appeal! We have heard it so many times, but why is it so important, and what exactly is it?
So what is it? In laments terms, it is how sexy your house looks from the street, or the internet! That initial drive by, or click will either generate more interest, or eliminate you immediately. In order to be in the ‘generate interest’ column…you need to improve that curb appeal. How? Easy, get a little down and dirty! No need to go out and re-landscape, in most cases you can take what you’ve got and clean it up.
According to recent surveys, the #1 thing a homeowner can do to improve curb appeal is edge! Clean sidewalks and curbs as well as trimmed edging around flowerbeds makes the exterior of a home look crisp and fresh. It also sets the tone that this is a homeowner that cares about the details! While you are out there, shape up any shrubbery, and weed the flowerbeds. None of this will cost you any money, and it can help keep money in your pocket when the offers come in. An unkept yard can lead a potential buyer to be more critical of the inside of the home, so make sure the front looks great!
Want to go that little extra mile, and still not open the wallet? Clean the front patio and porch off. This is the one spot a buyer will be standing for an extended period of time while the agent fidgets with the lockbox, key and front door, so make it sparkle! Don’t forget the front door, too. A wooden door can always use some Old English to spruce it up, and aluminum door can be cleaned with a nice household cleaner as well. Keep those windows to the side of the door clean of fingerprints and get rid of the birds nest and mud dobber homes. If you need new light bulbs in the entry way, porch, or lanterns, get the ladder out and replace them now! Potential buyers need to stand at the door and see an inviting atmosphere, not a list of honey-do’s!
Finally, if you don’t have color in the front yard, add some. This can easily be done by adding a festive wreath to the front door, a decorative yard flag, or even a brightly colored potted plant on the porch or in a flower bed as well. If you have to spend money on this, buy a nice large potted plant and place it in a flower bed for color. The nice thing about this is that you can exclude it from the listing and take the plant with you to your next home.
If you house has been listed for awhile, make these changes and send your agent by to take a new picture. Freshening up the outside and putting that picture online might be just the thing you need to generate more showings in your house as well.