Creating Curb Appeal
The first chance to sell your house is when potential buyers catch an initial glimpse of your home. You can do much to enhance your home’s ‘curb appeal’ and increase your chances of an earlier sale at a higher price.
- Your house number should be easy to read and illuminated. This is extremely important in the evening and during the winter when daylight is limited.
- The exterior, including eavestroughs, should be clean and in good repair. Downspouts should have extensions to take water away from the foundation. Any settling of backfill around a house should be corrected to ensure that the grade at the foundation is higher than surrounding areas for appropriate drainage.
- Any areas that require new grass should be sodded rather then re-seeded to ensure a finished appearance.
- Doors should be unmarred, clean, and repainted with care if necessary. The doorbell and door hardware should be in good repair. Potential purchasers who see a broker/sales representative wrestling with a reluctant door lock may wonder what else is wrong with the house.
- When a broker/sales representative is opening the door of your home, a potential purchaser has plenty of time to look at the porch and entry. Accordingly, they should be clean and tidy. Do not allow flyers to accumulate, and if there is a doormat, it should be clean and in good condition.
- To give the best impression, the garage should be a storage area for automobiles, not for miscellaneous articles. It should be clean and tidy, with garden tools hung neatly. If they can’t be stored elsewhere, bicycles, the snow blower, and the lawn mower should be placed so as not to impede movement around the cars. Garbage containers should be empty and clean. Illumination should be bright, ideally with a 150 watt bulb, at least during the listing period.
- The driveway should be degreased and sealed.
- A rich green lawn enhances your home. It should be freshly cut, weeded, and edged. Flower beds should be weeded and cultivated, hedges trimmed, and garden refuse removed. If your lawn isn’t in good shape, time will be required to improve it, and professional help may be desirable.
- Walkways and patios should be clean and free of cracks, with litter removed (if your walkway or patio has unwanted grass or weeds they can be eliminated easily and in an environmentally friendly way with boiling water, vinegar, or a propane torch). In winter, the driveway, walks, and porch stoop should be cleared of snow and salted if necessary. Inside the front door should be an overshoe tray, and a carpeted area where overshoes can be removed.