I have a thing for first impressions—not just with timeliness and a strong handshake (although, those are crucial), but especially in the real estate part of my life. When helping my seller clients, the importance of first impressions is something I stress.
When your home goes on the market, it has to be in the best condition it can possibly be in so you can make a knockout impression on potential buyers. In fact, I believe that it is crucially important – so much so that I offer to hire a stager for each of my sellers in preparation for putting their home on the market.
When helping our buyer clients, I watch for first impressions. If Mrs. X crinkles her nose as we get out of the car, it’s not likely that she will be buying the house before her. If Mr. Y lingers in the lawn of a house, surveying the roof, the neighbors’ yards, and is grinning…well, we may take a little more time as we tour the home.
With a house, first impressions start from the street. You’ve all heard of “curb appeal?” Well, it’s more than an edged lawn and clean windows. Any extra effort that a homeowner spends to make their guests (and potential new owners!) feel welcome pays off. While this is something I’d emphasize when helping you prepare to list your house, it is also great to just keep these things in mind so that you have a curb-a-liscious home to come home to each day yourself!
I found a great checklist on HGTV that I’ll share here in case you’re interested in working your way through a little to-do list!
Curb Appeal Checklist
1. Clean and Declutter
__ Keep your lawn mowed and neatly edged.
__ Trim overgrown trees and bushes to improve your home’s visibility from the street.
__ Remove dead or dying plants.
__ Weed flower beds and remove any debris. Add a fresh layer of mulch.
__ Pressure-wash your home’s siding, decks, walkways and driveway.
__ Clean windows inside and out.
__ Remove leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts.
__ Store toys, lawn ornaments, garbage bins and other clutter out of sight.
__ Park cars in the garage or down the street during showings to keep your driveway clear.
2. Make Repairs
__ Fill in bare areas of your lawn, either through seeding or sodding.
__ Patch or reseal minor cracks in your driveway and walkways. Hire a contractor for major driveway repairs.
__ Check your home for peeling paint and repaint if needed.
__ Replace rotted or warped siding boards.
__ Replace broken or missing roof shingles. If your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan (typically about 20 years for asphalt shingles), consider replacing it.
__ Repair or replace damaged shutters, window screens and awnings.
__ Make sure all exterior and landscape lights are in working order. Replace light bulbs as needed.
__ Paint or stain your fence and repair loose or broken boards.
3. Add the Finishing Touches
__ Plant colorful owers in your front beds and window boxes. Place a potted plant or
__ Paint the front door a bright color that stands out from your home’s exterior. Paint shutters and trim to match.
__ Add a new welcome mat at your front door.
__ Replace door hardware, light xturfixtures house numbers at your home’s entrance. __Coordinate these items for a cohesive look.
__Use pavers or plants to create an inviting path from the sidewalk, driveway or road to the front door. Line the path
__with solar light xtures.
__ Replace or repaint an old mailbox.
__ Create inviting seating areas that are visible from the street, such as a bench in the front yard or a table and chairs on the porch.