Picture this: Ms. Jones, a potential buyer, drives by your home prior to viewing it with her Realtor. The red brick, the large windows and the two-car garage looked very attractive in the MLS listing. However, she can not avoid noticing the patchy lawn, missing shingles on the roof, the chipped window frames, soiled siding, and the bicycles and wagons stacked, three-deep, on the side of the garage. The front door is a foul shade of violet.
Ms. Jones shakes her head and drives away, without even getting out of her car. She calls her Realtor and says she would like to look at another house.
It is always a good idea to improve your home's outside appearance. In fact, it is essential to increasing the price you will receive for your home. A prospective buyer will determine, in mere seconds, whether your home is a prospect.
Set the stage with good curb appeal
Curb appeal is the overall impression that your home creates when viewed by a potential buyer. It is the quality that gets buyers thinking about your home as their home. As soon as a potential buyer sees your home, they will begin creating an emotional connection, be that good or bad, with your home. A buyer begins to form a picture in their minds. Could I live here? Can I maintain my current lifestyle in this home? How much work do I have to do? After viewing a home that looks cared for, on the outside, they will want to move inside. Be sure to consider the following areas when enhancing your curb appeal.
Paint: Chipped or peeling paint detracts from the appearance of your home. An inexpensive paint job, including front door, fence, shutter and other surfaces can significantly enhance your homes appearance and value. Choose a neutral color that matches the brick, siding, fence or trim of your home.
Landscaping: Mow and edge your lawn. Repair any unsightly patches. Trim trees and shrubs. Replace old pots with new ones. Water flowers. Store garden tools in the garage or basement.
Sidewalks/driveway: Hose down sidewalks and driveways. Clear any clutter. Store any toys, sporting equipment or bicycles, neatly in the garage or basement. Remove stray weeds from adjoining lawn areas.
Eavestrough: If possible hose them down, along with the siding and sidewalks. Remove any leaves or debris. If they're damaged or loose, repair them.
Fences/siding/exterior: Complete any repairs to these areas. A fence that looks like it will blow over the in the strong wind, leaves a bad impression. Be sure to hose down these areas, prior to viewing.
Cracked/uneven foundation: Have this area repaired. A buyer is less likely to purchase your home if they will be hit with foundation repairs.
Lighting: Upgrade any worn or rusted lighting. Warm lighting around your home's exterior creates an inviting appearance. Even a smaller home can appear cozy with the correct lighting.
Finishing touches: Put out a new, inexpensive welcome doormat. Clean any outdoor furniture and replace old and worn cushions. If you have a pet that lives in the backyard, be sure to advise your Realtor in advance. Even better, arrange for pet boarding when showing your home.
When you pay attention to your curb appeal, your home will likely spend less time on the market.
Uncompleted repairs could lengthen the time needed to sell your home. The first impression that a buyer makes of your home is important. It sets the tone for the rest of the walk through. When your prospective buyer falls in love with the exterior, he or she will anticipate an equally appealing interior. With good curb appeal, you are issuing a personal invitation: "Welcome. Come on in."
For more advice on how to get your home ready for sale please contact our Okotoks & Calgary Real Estate Team.