Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Curb Appeal Matters!

If you are putting your home on the market, one of the most important things you can do is to put yourself in the buyer's shoes. If your home has seen better days, it may be more difficult to sell than you would think - even with a reduced price tag. Unless the prospective buyer is an investor, he or she might have a challenging time seeing the house "as it could be." This is why curb appeal is so important.

Why does curb appeal matter?

Forget for a moment that you are selling a house. Instead, imagine you are selling a product. There is a reason why corporate America spends billions of dollars every year on advertising and packaging. Heck! Pepsi spent a cool million on their newest logo re-design. That's because humans are visual creatures and we have a much easier time buying "what is", rather than buying "potential". Most people these days are too busy to buy fixer uppers. They want a property that is relatively, "turn key," meaning they can move in and don't have a whole lot of work to do in order to be comfortable and feel like they can call their new structure home.

Your job as the seller is to package your home in the most attractive way possible so that prospective buyers pull up and have a sense of, "ah..." or at least, "hmmmm...," and not, "Eeeeew!" You want their first impression to be as positive as possible. There are a few things you can do to make your home present itself as an inviting place to live.

It doesn't matter what it looks like on the inside if the outside looks like this!

Simple Steps to Create Curb Appeal
  • Yard. Remove weeds, patch the lawn, and trim/prune plants and shrubs to make them as neat as possible. If the lawn is dead, and you don't want to plant a new one, consider rototilling to give it a more neat appearance. You can use potted plants around the porch and walkways. They will look attractive and you can take them with you when you go.

  • Front Porch. A good cleaning can work wonders for a dingy or cobweb infested porch. Hang a wreath on the front door, polish the door fixtures, and use affordable fabric to cover dingy patio furniture.

  • The little things. There are other things you can do to improve curb appeal:
    • Pressure wash the outside - touch up or repaint trim/doors/or smaller items if they really need it.
    • Re-paint/replace the mailbox and/or exterior light fixtures
    • Repair or replace the house numbers if they are missing, faded, or askew
    • Clean the windows both outside and in
    • Remove any clutter and keep leaves raked up
Many of these items take very little to no money at all. Even if you have to spend a few hundred dollars, it will be well worth your time and money. The way your house is packaged can mean the difference a long drawn out wait for the right buyer to come along or a brief real estate transaction at a higher price.

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