I have mentioned earlier that the so-called “dead of winter” is a great time to be on the market because the few buyers out there who put on their hats and coats and gloves and brave the brisk winter chill are “deadly serious” buyers.
But many of you have the Spring market in mind for selling. If I’m talking to you, then let’s talk about how to dress for success – from the outside-in.
When you’re getting ready to sell your home, think of the lawn as a giant RED CARPET that welcomes prospective buyers to your door. You have to do all you can to “wow” them from the street with that all important curb appeal.
With housing taking a slow-but-sure positive turn, new listings will pop up this Spring right along with the crabgrass, which keeps you in a competitive market. In order to be the one to win over that buyer, you’ve got to make your home show better than the guy down the street. And that first impression begins online, with great pictures of a well manicured and beautifully landscaped lawn.
Here are 6 easy ways to create curb appeal:
1. A lush green lawn immediately communicates to a buyer that this home is being lovingly cared for outside. And to a buyer’s mind, if it is being well maintained outside, it is likely to be “show stopping” beautiful inside, too. Whether you do it yourself or can afford to hire a lawn care company, all weeds should be killed off and the grass should be thick and lush. A criss-cross pattern on a freshly cut lawn looks lovely both in the photos and in person.
2. Take a fresh look at your landscaping. If it needs fresh mulch, by all means, add plenty of fresh mulch. Personally, I like the dark brown color against manicured shrubs. The darker color makes your summer flowers “pop” as well.
3. If you have a front porch, you can certainly enhance its appeal by adding colorful pots filled with bright flowers. If you have the bonus of a covered front porch, add a couple of Adirondack-style chairs or a porch swing. If you have time to really “set the stage” before potential clients come to tour your home, set out a lemonade pitcher on a colorful table with a couple of glasses to let the buyer see visualize spending summer afternoons on the porch.
4. Look at your driveway. Does it need to be sealed? If so, this can be done relatively inexpensively, and of course you can also hire someone to do this for you. Your driveway will be closely scrutinized by potential buyers, too, and they want to see that you have been keeping up with its maintenance.
5. Don’t forget the back yard. Even though it may not be readily observable from the street, buyers will see your home inside and out, front yard and back, by viewing it online, and more often than not that will be the very first place they see it. So make sure the back yard is lush and beautiful, too, with manicured trees and shrubs, lovely flowers, and fresh mulch. Stage the deck or patio with good-looking patio furniture, and add more pots of flowers around to enhance its beauty.
6. Stand back from the street and take a good look at your roof. Does it have those black mold-like stains and streaks? This streaking is a blue-green algae that causes no damage to your shingles, but certainly doesn’t make a nice first impression. Unless the shingles are already showing signs of age, a much less expensive fix is to spray wash the roof with a 50 percent mix of water and bleach to get rid of the algae. Just be sure to wet your foundation plantings first to protect them from the bleach, and rinse everything with clean water when you are done. If your roof looks like it needs to be replaced, by all means go ahead and replace it. Buyers expect “big ticket” items such as roof and mechanicals to be in great shape.
So the moral of the story is: Your best shot of beating out the competition and getting the buyer to choose your home over your neighbors, is to be all dressed up and ready to sell – both outside and in.