Because first impressions matter..

(December 18, 2013 , posted in Selling)

Curb appeal is the first thing potential buyers take in when they see a FOR SALE sign. Does the home look friendly? Does the home look well cared for? Or…does it look like a lot of work?

Often buyer’s will take a drive by a home before making an appointment or going to an open house, so it’s important to make that first impression count. Here are a few ways you can improve the curb appeal of your home when preparing to put it on the market.

1. Trim the Lawn and the Hedges – spring is upon us so it is just as important that spring cleaning is done outside the house as well as inside. Weed the flower beds and remove last year’s dead perennials – you can inexpensively purchase an assortment of colourful annuals at your neighbourhood garden store and plant them in the cleaned up flower beds around your home. Colour will instantly brighten up the outside of the house and make it inviting.

2. Clean the Gutters – it’s an ugly job but ensuring that the gutters aren’t full of leaves and debris so that on rainy days they aren’t running over during showings is an important step to making potential buyers feel the home has been well looked after.

3. Create a Welcoming Entrance – the front entrance is the first part of the home that potential buyers will interact with and you can brighten it up with fresh paint, potted plants and flowers…even a new welcome mat is a nice touch. Ensure that the house numbers are legible and show well in a style that suits the home; if you have a mailbox make sure it isn’t full of newspapers and keep it in good shape.

4. Improve the Lighting – You never know when potential buyers will be driving by to sneak a peak so keeping your home well lit in the evenings adds both curb appeal and the ability for buyers to get a good look if they are passing through. Purchasing some inexpensive solar lights to place along pathways and replacing any burnt out lights around the perimeter of the house are good ways to keep your home well lit.

5. Replace the Windows – old windows make a home feel old – they are draughty and don’t sparkle as much as new windows, which is why replacing old windows with new ones can really bring a sense of warmth and value to your home. Also, dressing up your windows with new drapes or curtains on the inside and maybe a flower box on the outside will also add a fresh, appealing touch to your home.

6. Fix the Driveway – Make sure you repair any cracks and removed any stains or vegetation growing through the driveway. You want your buyers walking in along a clean, tidy path and also remove any boats or extra vehicles you may have stored on the drive… you don’t want anything taking away from a sense of space when it comes to the entrance.

7. Tidy the Yard – Last but not least, it is very important that you keep the outside areas tidy during the time that your home is on the market. Ensure that hoses and garden tools are stored away properly, have the kids put their toys away after playing outside and bring in the garbage and recycling as soon as it is picked up. You never want to give the impression that your home is a lot of work to maintain and even though it may not be, clutter around the house can leave people wondering about the chores rather than the excitement of potentially living in your home.

I hope that some of these suggestions will help you when you are selling your home. First impressions are very important and the more appealing your home is to look at from the outside, the more likely it will be that people want to see the inside increasing your chances of selling your home quickly and for a great price. Good luck!