When it is time to sell your home, the first view of your home buyers will have will be the front of your house. This is what we call Curb Appeal. As buyers pull up to the front of your house, what do they see? As first impressions are important, this is your chance to make a great first impression for the buyers. Typically, what buyers see on the outside of the house is what they will see on the inside. Nice curb appeal equates to a nice inside of the house. Sloppy and unkept curb appeal usually equal not so nice inside of the house.
Walk to the sidewalk in front of your home. What do you see? Because you are used to the view, you may want to ask a friend or neighbor to do this exercise with you. As you look to the front door, are all the bushes, plants and trees neatly trimmed or do they need some attention? Are your window screens frayed or damaged? As potential buyers look at your house, they will either see a pleasing view or a view that screams WORK!!!
Even buyers who enjoy gardening do not want to see your overgrown yard. If you have a grass front, take a look at the edging of the grass, it should be clean and crisp. If you have a desert landscape, be sure the weeds are not coming through the rocks. Often cleaning up the curb appeal is a matter of cleaning and trimming. If you have bare spaces, consider some landscape rocks or mulch. You may also want to consult a landscaper to get the right welcoming look to your home.
#2 Front Door
Is your front door clean, fresh and inviting? You may need to give it a fresh coat of paint or varnish. Keep in mind as buyers approach your front door, they often spend a few moments paused there while the real estate agent gets the key from a lock box. Sometimes the lockbox is on the front door, other times is it on the side of the house, and buyers wait for the agent to retrieve the key.
Be sure the woodwork around the door is also freshly painted and clean looking. Add a welcoming doormat. Be sure the windows at the front of the house are clean and sparkling. Because often buyers can see into the house from the front door, so you want the windows clean.
Clean your front light fixtures and be sure they are dust and cobweb free. Be sure you have a bright light bulb in the fixture. Put a few colorful potted plants near the front door to add color and welcome your visitors. Again, this is the first impression your buyers have of your house.
As you are standing at your front door, take a look up. Are your fascia boards looking tired and have peeling paint, or are they nicely painted, conveying the impression of a well cared for home. As you look around the front door, up, down and side to side, is the view appealing?
#3 Garage Doors
Take a look at your garage doors. Are the lights on either side of your garage free of dust and bugs? Is there a fresh bright light bulb inside? Do you need to powerwash the garage doors so they are fresh and clean, or do they need a coat of paint? Don’t forget the wood around the garage door. Does the wood need a coat of paint?
If you have glass inserts in the garage door, be sure these are washed and sparkle. Sellers who take great care of the outside of their home usually take great care of the side of the home. As buyers enter the house, you want them to have a positive feeling about what they have seen in your home so far.
As you look at the sidewalk leading to your front door, be sure it is well swept and free of small rocks or weeds. You want the buyer to feel like all aspects of the front of the house are in great condition. If necessary, be sure the grass is nicely edged next to the sidewalk and there is a smooth flow to your front door.
#5 Back Patio
Living in Arizona, our back patios are often an extension of our living area. A great backyard and patio area are a must for most buyers in the metro Phoenix area. Because outdoor living is so important to Phoenix living, you will want to give this area special attention.
First, be sure all doors and windows to the backyard are clean. If you have sliding patio doors, be sure the track that the door slides in is also shiny clean. Arrange patio furniture so buyers are invited to sit and view the yard, patio and perhaps pool area.
Be sure the tables and chairs are clean and in good repair. Add pots of brightly colored flowers. Take the same care in the in the backyard as you do in the front yard to trim trees, bushes and grass areas. Because buyers will look at your backyard as a place to relax with family and friends, you don’t want them to think work as they sit on your patio.
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#6 Pool Areas
If you have a pool or spa in your yard, make this area inviting to potential buyers. If you have a water feature, turn it on! Even if you only turn on an aerator. Because buyers are picturing their friends and family enjoying the backyard, let them see all the water features. Place lounge chairs around the pool. Again, be sure these are clean and in good condition.
Consider placing colorful beach towels on the chase lounges. If you have a few pool toys, if they are in good condition, consider leaving them on the side of the pool. Have a nice storage bin or area for extra pool toys.
Where to put the pool towels? Consider a nice basket on the patio. Other colorful options including using a wine rack to hold towels on the patio. Another great idea is a bin with a side opening. In Phoenix, we often deal with summer dust storms or “Haboobs” and these bins can keep your towels clean and out of the sun.
Great storage on a patio allows you to store your pool toys and towels in a convenient manner while having access as needed.
You don’t want a buyer thinking there isn’t snough storage space outside, so by using creative storage ideas, buyers see there is plenty of room for towels and other pool and patio items.
Consider adding uplighting to the base of your trees or rope lighting around the pool. Often buyers will visit a home in the evening after work, and see the evening lighting options will definitely add ambiance to your backyard.
#7 Side Yards
Don’t forget about the sides of your house. Be sure the side isn’t a dumping ground for pottery, ladders, screens, etc. When buyers see clutter along the side of the house, they think there isn’t enough storage space. Ladders can go on hooks in the garage or the side of the house. Discard old pottery or place in cabinets in the garage. Be sure the side yard is free of weeds trees on the side of the house are trimmed.
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