Curb appeal is key online where buyers start their search for a home. First impressions are critical so make sure there are plenty of photos to attract prospective buyers. For outdoor photos, photos should be updated each season to give that right first impression.
Driving up to your home also requires great curb appeal. Too often buyers who do not like the appearance of a property from the street will refuse to take the time to look inside. Here's what you can do to motivate all potential buyers to step inside.
Your Home's Exterior
The house should show that it's been well maintained, i.e. buyers want a house that is ready to move into with little or no repairs needed. They want to focus on the moving process versus fixing up a new home. If you are consistent in repairing and maintaining your home, there won't be much work to prepare your house for sale. If not, roll up up your sleeves and get to work to increase your chances of selling quickly and getting the price you want (not necessarily need).
- Make sure all exterior trim (shutters, window sills, corner boards and trim around your doors/windows) are in good repair.
- Check all windows and doors to make sure they look good and function properly. Repair or replace window panes and/or screens that are damaged.
- Inspect and repair any wood rot as this will be covered by a home inspection. Common problems are window sills, kick plates under doors and where decks are attached to the home.
- Touch up exterior paint as needed, especially the front of the house visible from the street.
- Clean out gutters, repair any leaks and make sure they are draining away from the house.
- Make sure your house number is easy to find and read from the street.
- Clean the windows so they sparkle inside and out.
Front Door that Leads Inside
Once prospective buyers arrive at the front door, they should feel welcome and not be distracted by any problems. Here is where you set the mood for the home viewing and you only have a few seconds to make a good impression.
- Make sure the front door (and screen door) are in good condition. A good scrubbing or new coat of paint are recommended.
- The door hardware and doorbell should work and look good. You can polish or replace with new hardware.
- The porch and front steps should be clean, in good condition and free of clutter.
- Mailboxes should be pleasing to look at, or you can replace with something simple.
- Add a new doormat, wreath or other accessories like hanging plants.
Yard, Walkways and Driveway
From the curb, the next thing buyers look at after the house is the yard. You want the yard to appear well cared for, i.e. not require any work on the part of the new owners. You also want to make sure that any potential eyesores visible as buyers approach the house, are dealt with.
- Store trash containers and debris out of sight.
- Clear the driveway and clean up oil spills
- Cut and water the lawn regularly, prune shrubs and add color with easy to care for plants.
- Minimize any pet friendly features and pick up all pet waste.
- Turn on exterior lights for night showings. If you have a long, unlit walkway you might want to add solar powered lights.
- In winter, make sure there's a clear path from the driveway to the front door.