You may have heard the saying, “the first impression is the last impression.” It’s a proverb that not many people are willing to buy into these days. When it comes time to sell your home, especially an older home, this may very well be the case. It is a time-tested way to make sure that your house stands out amongst the competition. Curb appeal, or lack thereof can instantly turn buyers off before they get in the door.
To be sure that you make a good impression on prospective buyers, you need to make sure certain things in your house are fixed. As someone living in the house, many things might be normal to you because you have gotten used to them. However, to an outsider, things are far from normal and could very well cost you the sale, or at least a hefty chunk of the price.
Any crack in the ceiling, any broken piece of furniture should be fixed before you start showing your house to outsiders. Before the buyers even make it into the house to criticize every nook and cranny, they must like the outside! Think your house looks perfect? Ask your agent and see what they honestly think. The response may surprise you!
Here are the BASIC things you need to do increase your curb appeal when trying to sell your home:
1. Spruce Up the Yard
It should come as no surprise that a buyer wants to see maintained lawn when they come to view the home. It’s one of the main components of curb appeal. Think of the difference between an ironed outfit and a wrinkled one. Sure! One is much easier than the other, but which one gives a better first impression?
- Mow the lawn
- Trim the hedges (below the window sills)
- Weed the garden
- Kill any weeds in the driveway or sidewalks
- Tidy up and/or freshen any mulch beds
These simple activities will guarantee a better first impression. Is lawn work not your thing? Mine either. Just hire someone to do it. The cost is fairly minimal and you’ll be proud of the result!
2. Clean the Outside
No one wants to drive up and see a dirty looking house. Ok, so your lawn is mowed. What about the moldy green slime on the side of your house from the splashing water where your gutters overflowed? You know what I’m talking about! You need to clean that up. Some good old hot soapy water will do the trick, maybe with a little bleach (maybe ask someone the hardware store first). Better yet, pay a couple hundred bucks and have someone power wash the exterior. While you’re at it, clean out the clogged gutters that caused the mess in the first place… Then be sure to clean that up as well! It also wouldn’t hurt to wash the outside windows as well.
3. Organize the Garage
The garage is typically the “man’s domain.” While the wife is inside visually placing furniture, the husband wants to see all the cool toys he can get for his new playground. That’s pretty hard to do with all your junk in the way. When you want to sell your home, the garage should not be used as a storage unit. Get out there and make it look awesome! Show off all the things you can do with it, besides just parking your cars! Trust me on this, ignoring the importance of the garage space can and will drive buyers away.
4. Don’t Ignore the Backyard
The backyard is what actually sold me on my last property. I liked the house and location, but when I walked out the back door, it was ALL OVER! That was the house for me! When you want to sell your home, you want the buyers to get the full visualization of its potential. If your yard is cluttered and nasty. It will be a major turnoff. Pick up the toys, tools, and trash. If you have dogs, invest in some grass seed to fill in any missing or brown spots. Most buyers want “move-in ready.” They don’t want to add weekends full of yard repair to their to-do list.
With these simple guidelines, you can create a compelling curb appeal that is sure to attract some attention! Consult with your agent on the best use of your time and money. You hired them for a reason! If you are serious and REALLY want to sell your home, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and take a long look at your house. An honest view can go a long way to getting you on the right track!