You know that in these times of soft real estate sales, you must do everything in your power to make your for-sale house stand out among the rest. The first place to start is with the first thing that potential buyers see – the front outside of your house. This is called curb appeal, and it can make or break your sale. Below is a checklist of things to do to make the visage of your home the best and most appealing it can be.
l Power wash the outside of the house. If you have loose, peeling, cracking paint, you’ll need to have the place painted.
l Power wash the windows outside and clean them on the inside. Be sure to remove debris and cobwebs—these will make windows look dull.
l Clean out gutters and replace if they’re rusty, bent or look old and in disrepair.
l Rake up leaves and dead vegetation and dispose of it.
l Keep the lawn mowed throughout the sales process. Make sure sidewalks and walkways are edged neatly.
l Get rid of weeds, dandelions and grass growing up through the driveway or sidewalks.
l Trim trees so that no limbs are touching the roof.
l Affix or replace loose roof shingles.
l Make sure all yard tools and toys are stowed away. Roll up that hose neatly.
l Put bikes, skateboards and scooters in the garage.
l If you have a basketball hoop, replace the net if it’s torn, dingy or worn.
l Trim back unruly, unkempt bushes. Remove them altogether if they look scraggly and dry no matter what you do.
l Install a motion detector light in the front yard so when lookers come by in the evening, they can see the front of the house.
l Install low-wattage ground lights along the front walkway.
l Keep the walkway to the house, the driveway and sidewalk in front of the house swept.
l Plant bright-colored flowers and keep them watered and looking beautiful. Remove wilted dead blooms religiously.
l Wherever your foundation shows, place a planter with colorful flowers.
l Give your front door a fresh coat of paint or replace it.
l Replace the door’s hardware and knob.
l Paint or stain your wood fences and repair any broken fencing.
l Replace the mailbox.
l Apply large, clearly visible house numbers to the front of your house.
l Keep garbage barrels in the garage out of sight.
Curb appeal extends to the sides and back of your house as well:
l Power wash your deck or patio and sand and stain if necessary.
l Secure any loose railings and boards on your deck.
l Trim bushes and vegetation around your patio or deck.
l Set up attractive, comfortable-looking sitting areas in the back yard. You can stage the outside of the house as well as the inside.
l If you have a dog, be sure to use the pooper scooper on a daily basis. If your dog’s a barker, keep it inside rather than let it stand outside chasing potential buyers away.
l Remove any wasp nests and ant hills from the premises.
l Keep all backyard toys and tools put away and the hose rolled up