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How-to: Three Ways to Maximize Curb Appeal

March 31 2010

How-to: Three Ways To Maximize Curb Appeal

Selling your home can take a lot of work! You found the right real estate agent, got your house appraised and listed, and you’ve been keeping the inside of your home immaculate. 

Now it’s up to the buyer’s impression of your home, a judgment that can be made in a split second. That’s why you have to grab them at curb, before they even set foot in your home.

In a competitive market, it takes more than trimming the hedges and planting a few flowers to create curb appeal. Some parts of your home may require more work to really shine.

A splash of color

Fresh paint does a lot to breathe new life into your home, especially if you’re trying to sell an older home. Chips and cracks on windows, shutters, and exterior doors can be visible from far away.

Minor damage and out of date colors can be painted over, but according an expert Craig Eastman on servicemagic.com, painting on either an unfinished surface or preexisting paint will lead to peeling, so prep the area properly with sanding rough surfaces before you touch up with paint.

Also remember to keep all angles of your home in mind. If you can see the sides or back of the house from the driveway or sideyard, those areas will need touching up, too. If you have a shed or detached garage that is showing some years, paint them, too. Assume your potential buyer may walk around the outside before deciding whether or not to come inside.

To really pop the entry, paint the front door a contrasting color to the rest of the house. You want the door to be visible from the street, and for it to say, “Welcome!”

The grass is greener

Landscaping says a lot about a home, particularly how much care the home gets. Clues that your home receives little attention are crabgrass, weeds, leggy bushes, trees with dead branches, muddy areas where grass won’t grow, and lack of color.

First impressions of the surroundings should be positive. Well-kept healthy grass with neatly trimmed edges looks astonishingly better than over grown and weedy grass.

Consider having your garden and yard professionally manicured-that’s grass cut, weeds killed, and edges trimmed.  Professional lawn care services can make recommendations on certain treatments and identify any problems you may want to fix to bring up your home’s marketability.

Or, consider inviting the neighborhood kids to come over for a cleanup, cookout and some spending money.

Make sure you remove eyesores and dangers, like tree stumps or junky, rusted lawn furniture. If a tree blocks a window or scratches the roof, that’s a sure sign your tree needs serious trimming. One bad storm could send a branch crashing through to your interior.

Got a light?

Some buyers have limited time to check out homes, so be ready for the ones who drive by in the evening after they get off from work.

Landscape lighting can really show your home to advantage, as well as provide safe footing for visitors on your walkways. You can also uplight your home around the foundation for a dramatic effect. While your home is on the market, keep porch lights on in the evenings.

Also consider a spot light to accentuate any interesting brick work or architectural features of your home with a nicely positioned safety light. If you wish to draw attention to a gorgeous tree or shrubbery in your yard then a ground spot light, or flood light, that shoots light up at an angle would be your best option.

Lighting not only accents your home but will increase the overall feeling of security that your home projects. 

Plenty of online companies offer lighting options at different values; soholighting.com offers beautiful and unique designs at a premium price, whereas homedepot.com offers more generic, yet substantially more affordable options. Lightinguniverse.com, offers one of the most comprehensive lists of available lighting types and can be the most moderately priced between the three companies depending on what you choose.

Once you’ve made improvements to your home’s curb appeal, you should see the results in activity. You’ll get more showings, more traffic, and hopefully, better offers than you would otherwise.