Though you are most likely very attached to your home, when selling your house, you must put your "business cap" on and handle the sell of your home as if it was a business transaction.
Like any business deal, presentation of the product or service is extremely important. People in general are very visual and will judge something they see for the first time based on visual queues. If the plate the waiter brings you is messy and ingredient poorly laid out, you will automatically assume the food won't taste good. The same is true for your home.
Curve appeal is exactly that. It is the visual appeal of your home or property, when someone arrives to it. Many people looking to buy a home will drive by first. Unfortunately, if it looks bad from the outside, their assumption will be that it must be even worst in the inside of the building.
When selling your home, the goal is to have prospective buyers go through it, get a full tour and fall in love with it. But first we have to get them inside.
It varies and should be proportional to your asking price. You must also consider how competitive the real estate market is in your neighborhood, your financial situation and recommendations from your real estate agent. If inventory is low and demand high, then you can almost get away with less than desirable curve appeal; though you may not obtain as much as you could have. If you are selling your home for $500,000 spending $1,000 to $2,000 on improving the exterior of your house.
Exterior paint: If your budget allows for it, a fresh coat of paint will make a HUGE difference on the appeal of your home to prospective home buyers. Keep the colors neutral and in line with the style of your neighborhood and town. If the current color is not bad but just faded, then try to stay as close to the current color palette as possible. Hiring a professional will insure that it is done quickly and properly. If choosing a contractor, make sure they are licensed and have insurance coverage in case they break something or get injured on the job. But if you do not have the money for it and are a handy person, then buy exterior paint and rent a paint sprayer. Please do not just paint the front of the house! We have heard story of property owners doing this and this typically back fire and turns away buyers quickly. If painting is not possible or necessary, power wash it. It takes about 3-4 hours with a rented power wash from your local hardware or rental store.
Font door: If you are not going to paint the entire home exterior, perhaps you could at least repaint the front door. Updating the front door hardware is also a great investment. That is affordable and easy to do. Remember that you are trying to get top dollars for your home.
Windows: Are they clean? Truly this does not require money but time. Windows can be washed with just hot water! Clean the trim too. Prospects will be tempted to go to a window and check out the view from there so they will be very close to the panels and the window trims. If the windows have screens, wash them too. If they have holes or are bent, it is time to replace them. Again a small investment that will go a very long way in impressing prospective buyers. Any cracked window panels should be replaced. Again this is all about first impression as prospects may assume the house foundation has issue and is "moving" if they notice several cracked window panels.
Driveway: Often time, all it needs is some good power washing and perhaps some de-greaser in certain areas where your car was parked. On the subject of vehicles, if you have multiple cars, we highly recommend that you park away from your home, leaving the garage empty (it will look bigger) and driveway free for potential buyers and their agents to park. The last thing you want is for a buyer to have to park next block over. Starting the tour of a house frustrated because of lack of parking is never good and sets a negative tone that can be easily avoided by you parking your cars away from the home.
If the driveway has significant damage and you are asking for a considerable amount of money for your home, you may consider having it redone. Talk to your agent to assess if this is worth the investment of time and money. If it has a couple of cracks, those can be fixed with products readily available at a home improvement store.
Landscape: At the very least, the grass should be cut evenly and the edges of the grass areas trimmed in a straight line. Remove the weeds if any. Trim the trees in front of the house so that the potential buyers can actually see the house from the street. Pick up any trash or yard waste from your front yard. Trash cans should be placed where they are hidden from the street.
Now that everything is cleaned and trimmed, you need to add colors and appeal. That is easy and fun to do. Choose two colors that work well with the exterior color(s) of your home. Buy 3 sizes of flower plants already in bloomed or close to be. Place the larger ones in the back, then the medium flowers and the smaller ones in the front. Alternate the colors and in no time you have a welcoming home that buyers will be tempted in touring and considering for purchase.
Before getting started prepare a detailed list and a strict budget for each item. Itemize your list by sections: Paint - Windows - Doors - Driveway & Front Porch - Landscape. Thanks to the Internet, you can now show on line and check for prices. Also budget the time for each project and when they should be done. Having a list will help you stay on budget and not over spend but also stay on target with your ultimate goal which is to beauty your front yard and create a breathtaking curve appeal buyers are expecting to see.
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