Your home’s exterior is the first thing a potential buyer sees, when visiting your home. The following tips will help you increase your home’s curbside appeal and create a strong first impression to potential home buyers.
Replace missing slats, stakes and posts. Repair broken hinges and paint or stain the fence if necessary.
Mow, trim and fertilize the lawn. Weed flower beds and replace dead plants and trees.
• Driveway, Garage, Carport
Clean up grease or oil spots on concrete surfaces. Make sure the garage door opens freely and the automatic door opener is working. Provide an unobstructed view of your home from the street by not parking cars, boats or other vehicles in the driveway.
• Front Entry
Polish door handles and door knockers. Replace worn or broken items, such as an unsightly mailbox or rusty doorbell. Be sure porch lights are working and add welcoming features such as a new door mat and flowering plants.
• Siding and Trim
Consider painting the highlight features of your home, such as trim work, shutters, gutters, down spouts and railings. If necessary, add a fresh coat of exterior paint to the exterior siding.
Remove debris such as tree branches and leaves. Straighten the TV antenna. Make any necessary repairs to worn shingles or cracked surfaces.
• Patio, Deck
Flowering plants and outdoor furniture add appeal. Remove any unnecessary items such as gardening equipment. Tidy any visible items, such as an outdoor grill or barbecue.
Experience shows that creating a house warming feeling inside your home increases its desirability. View your home with a critical eye. Clean, complete minor repairs, and add finishing touches.
• Doors and Windows
Consider adding a fresh coat of paint to your front door. Polish brass fixtures and be sure door locks work properly. Oil hinges to both doors and windows. Keep stairways tidy and secure handrail. Repair or replace bent or damaged screens and window glass. Cut back outdoor plants that restrict natural light. Keep windows clean and tidy with draperies firmly affixed and in proper working order.
• Floors and Carpets
Repair or replace missing or damaged tile, hardwood, vinyl and baseboards. Steam-clean or shampoo carpets. Secure loose carpeting and replace damaged areas. Be conscious of odors caused by dampness, high-traffic areas or pets.
• Closets and Storage Areas
Ample storage space increases the desirability of the home. Keep closets tidy. Discard any unnecessary items and consider storing those you do not use frequently.
• Bedrooms and Living Areas
Keep living areas clean and inviting. Arrange furniture to allow a spacious atmosphere. Make beds, arrange couch cushions, dust shelves, vacuum carpets and touch-up walls with paint or spackling as necessary. Wallpaper should be clean and adhere smoothly to the walls. Finishing touches such as flowers or candles add to the home’s house warming appeal.
• Kitchens and Bathrooms
Clear counters, drawers and cabinets of unnecessary items. Clean soap dishes, mirrors, faucets and appliances (inside and out). Store cleaning supplies and hang freshly washed towels. Be conscious of odors caused by dampness, hampers, garbage and various foods.
• Counters and Cabinets
Store infrequently used counter-top items to allow a spacious look in the kitchen and bathroom. Keep drawers and cabinets tidy and organized.
• Garage or Workshop
Items should be neatly stored in shelving or wall units. Allow appropriate space for the home buyer to visualize their vehicle or workbench. Consider moving excess or over-sized items to mini-storage.
Remember, to be a seller you have to look at your home like a buyer.
Bret Sparks is a freelance writer based in North Hollywood.