Is Your Home Ready to Sell?
~Cindy Winkler, Your Real Estate Resource!
So you want to move, and you know you need to list your home for sale with a Realtor, meaning me, of course J, and you’re wondering what you need to do to get it ready. Here’s the best general suggestion I can tell you: You must discard personal attachment to your home and view it objectively through a potential buyer’s eyes. Think of it as taking off the old eyeglasses, and donning a brand-new pair (i.e., Buyer’s Eyes) that force you to take a fresh, first look at your home.
What do you see?
What is your honest assessment?
Let’s start here:
CURB APPEAL – The First Impression
W-E-L-C-O-M-E! That’s how you want a potential buyer to feel , and that feeling starts as soon as they reach your home – before they are out of the car. Here are seven tips that will plant the seed for a warm buyer experience:
W elcome: W is for Windex:
A friend gave me this cleaning tip years ago: Take 15 Minutes and clean everything you can with Windex and a paper towel. Think front windows, but at a minimum the front door/storm door/side lights.
w E lcome: E is for Exterior Surfaces:
Is the roof generally in good shape? Are branches cut back from touching the roof? Are gutters clean? How about the siding – if vinyl, does it need to be power washed? If wood, does it need a fresh coat of paint or a little soap and water?
we L come: L is for Lawn/Landscaping:
Is the lawn cut & trimmed? Are flowers pretty and colorful? How’s the mulch? Could the trees & shrubs use a trim? Sometimes it is best to remove overgrown shrubs and start fresh with smaller, tidier plants. Boxwoods are beautiful, for instance, and inexpensive! If you’re physically able and willing to tend to these matters yourself, the cost is minimal.
Here’s a before and after of a landscaping thinning from a recent listing. What a difference!
wel C ome: C is for Concrete (and Hardscaping):
Are the driveway, walkway and porch smooth and crack-free? If not, patch any cracks, especially those that could be a tripping hazard. Think concrete caulk, or concrete patch. Attention to details such as these shows potential buyers that the home is cared for, inside and out. (If the hardscaping is beyond patching or caulking, part of my listing service to you is connecting you with great contractors, including those who replace driveways and walkways.)
Welc O me: O is for Overall Impression:
The next time you go home, park across the street rather than pulling into the drive or parking out front. Give yourself a moment, and take it all in. How does it look? If you were a buyer, would you be excited about going inside?
Welco M e: M is for Mat — as in Welcome Mat:
A clean and new welcome mat, centered beneath a refreshed front door is a MUST. And how about that front door? Dress it up! A pint of paint and a new handle can do wonders for your curb appeal! Does your screen door open and close easily?
Welcom E: E for EXCELLENT first impression:
Generally speaking, the items mentioned in this article are not expensive (save, of course, a full driveway replacement). Concrete caulk and patch, less than $15.00. Don’t have a power washer? Lowe’s sells siding cleaner that attaches to your garden hose. Paint for the front door? Ten bucks. New hardware can be as expensive as you’d like it to be, but a clean, NEW door handle can cost as little as $20.00. Door mat? $20.00. For less than $100.00 and a few hours of your time, you can improve your curb appeal greatly!
Happy Real Estating!