A first impression is a lasting impression. For that reason, your home must look its best right from the start.
Curb appeal is a term often used in the real estate profession. Curb Appeal is the impression a prospective buyer gets when first arriving at a home. If it looks good from the curb… from the street when they first arrive…. buyers will be pleased and more likely to consider purchasing the home.
If the lawn is mowed and landscaping trimmed, the home seems well maintained. If the yard is clear of junk and toys, it gives the impression of order.
Simple ways to enhance a home’s curb appeal are to keep the front of the house clean and clear of debris. Keep the lawn trimmed and neat. Make minor repairs. One of the easiest, cheapest and most effective is to replace a broken doorbell button. This item costs only a few dollars at a hardware store, takes only a few minutes to replace but is perhaps the most cost-effective way to make a good impression. When a prospective buyer arrives at the front door and finds the bell button broken, they immediately start to think, “what else is wrong with this house?”
We do not recommend that you spend a great deal of money repairing items that will not bring a good return on your investment. Don’t repaint a house unless it is very badly in need and market conditions allow or require the expenditure. Many times a simple pressure washing will do the job.
Inside the home, the most important word is CLEAN. Vacuum the carpet, do the dishes, make the beds and clean the bathroom. REMOVE CLUTTER! If you are selling your house, you intend to move. Start to pack as soon as you put the house on the market. Go around the house and throw away anything that you are going to toss anyway. Call Good Will or another charity to pick up extra furniture. Get several boxes and start to take things off shelves and pack them away. Even if you have to store them in the garage or a spare room, a stack of neatly taped boxes is better than cabinets, counters and shelves filled with various items. People HATE clutter in other people’s homes. They want to imagine the home with their own clutter, not yours. Pack it up, move it out.
Odor is an especially bad obstacle to a sale. While you live in a home it accumulates odors that you may not even notice. Use air sanitizers or scented candles. A small basket of potpourri in each room can leave a pleasant aroma. If you have a pet, it may leave odors to which you are now accustomed. Have the carpets cleaned or the tile scrubbed. If you smoke, wash the walls and smoke outside or limit your smoking to only one room and open a window or ventilate the room often.
Simple repairs often make a difference. Fix a leaky faucet or a door that will not close properly. Make minor repairs that are easily apparent during a viewing. Your goal should be to have the buyers think about the house, not about the repairs they will need to perform.
Make the house look like a house that you’d want to buy. You don’t have to spend a lot of money doing these things but you do have to spend some time cleaning and thinking about how to make your home look “roomy”. With only a little effort you can have your home ready to sell.