No Second Chances: Get Your Home's Exterior Ready for Sale
Psychologists say that we make up our minds about a person within the first fifteen seconds of meeting them. And the same is true when viewing a house. It’s likely a prospective buyer will have made up their mind before they’ve even walked through your front door. So making sure that first impression is the right one is all important.
Not sure where to begin? It all starts with looking at your home with fresh eyes. Luckily, I've broken down six simple steps you can follow to put your home’s best face forward.
1. Break Up With Your House
If you want to sell your property, you’ll need to distance yourself from it first. If you stay emotionally attached, the process will be harder and longer.
2. Fix the Broken Stuff - All of It
This should be obvious, but it's easy to stop noticing a front door in poor condition or to forget about that busted doorbell. The thing is, buyers will notice almost immediately. And if they don't, their REALTOR will. They'll step inside looking for other things that need repair.
Go outside and approach your house as a buyer would. Ask yourself, "If I was buying this home now, what would my expectations be?" Patch cracks in the driveway and mend broken fences. Replace outdated light fixtures, worn address numbers, and, if it's rusty, your mailbox. While you're at it, give the front door a fresh coat of paint; if you can't update it to the necessary standards definitely consider replacing it. Bottom line? Meet and exceed a buyer's expectations by paying extra attention to the details.
3. Clean Up the Landscaping
You wouldn't wear soiled sweatpants on a first date; you'd go out of your way to look good. So why would you approach the process of selling your home any differently?
Remove debris such as fallen tree limbs and leaves, weed the flowerbeds and freshen up the mulch, and keep grass and shrubs trimmed. Clear away lawn clutter such as yard ornaments, rubbish and recycling bins, and that Big Wheel or Little Tikes Car.
4. Put On the Pressure
Nobody wants to move into a property that looks dirty. So do everything you can to make the exterior of your home look as clean as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to use a pressure washer to clean your house siding, driveway, and walkways. When using a pressure washer, be sure to use the right setting for your type of exterior walls.
5. Amp Up the Curb Appeal
Colorful flowers planted in the yard always make people smile. A new doormat shows your "I care" attitude. Potted plants surrounding the entry are welcoming but be sure to leave enough space for at least three people to comfortably access your home.
6. Light It Up!
For evening showings, turn on all outdoor lighting. Replace any lights that are no longer functioning and install new bulbs. In the dark, a little bit of light goes a long way. 60 watts of incandescent light (20 watts of CFL or 750 lumens) maximum per fixture is ideal for most decorative exterior wall fixtures and post lanterns.
As a local real estate professional, I can provide you with a fair assessment of your property to give you a better sense of what needs to be done. Please contact me; I welcome your call.
----- KIMBERLY VAN HAL | Good to Know® -----
As a residential agent since 1987, Kim has helped home buyers and sellers in the Fargo Moorhead metro area achieve their real estate goals.