Selling Basics: All About Curb Appeal

Your home is looking so awesome; you’re sorry you have to sell. Weeks spent sprucing up the interior, decluttering and staging have paid off and finally you’re ready for the real estate professionals. Or are you?

Overlooking one simple element can make the difference between having the most popular listing on the local market or being the forgotten wallflower at the property hop. Remember, it’s all about getting prospective buyers off their PCs, out of their cars and into your stunning home.

This is where creating the element known as ‘curb appeal’ comes in. It’s one of the prime selling tips you see in books and online. An appealing exterior can change your property from just another house into a truly exceptional home. Compared to other work you have to do to get your house shipshape, creating curb appeal gives you the biggest bang for your buck.

Curb appeal isn’t just landscaping; curb appeal goes way beyond the lawn. Don’t get too caught up about the foliage around the home initially – it’s only the garnish. Instead, take a good look at the exterior of the property itself. The National Association of Realtors reports ‘curb appeal’ sells 49 percent of all houses – from a city townhouse (no front yard) to suburban homes (lawns and gardens). While gorgeous flowers and a neatly trimmed lawn are important, curb appeal goes deeper than that.

The essence of ‘curb appeal’ is giving the impression of a well maintained home. Because of this, creating ‘curb appeal’ can cost little or nothing apart from elbow grease. For example, one of the most important basics is to have clean, sparkling windows. Not only do clean windows brighten up the interior during the open house, they make the outside of the home shine.

To get an objective picture of your home, take a few photos of the exterior. You’ll be amazed how many little details jump out, those things you just don’t notice anymore– the sagging gutter, the faded house numbers.

Another simple step is washing down dirty siding or paintwork. First step is to tackle the cobwebs and loose dust with a mop or broom. Follow up with a power washing. This often makes such a change to the look of the outside – it’s possible the exterior is in such good condition, painting won’t be necessary. Stain or oil any outside wood and reap the benefits with better offers and more lookers.

After the house is checked, turn your attention to the garden. Any grass should be weed-free, watered, and mowed and new plantings should appear to be established. Trees and shrubs should be pruned, with any dead or broken branches removed. You want to give the home a polished appearance. Outside clutter such as toys, hoses and tools should all be put away behind closed doors and the trash cans hidden. Walkways, the driveway, even the front door mat should be hosed down.

From that first glimpse at 5 mph, buyers should get a warm fuzzy feeling when they set eyes on your house. Curb appeal is all about that important first impression and getting top dollar for your property.

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