When I became a real estate agent in 1999, the market in St. George, Utah, was absolutely horrible. It would take six months to a year for an attractive home to sell, and unattractive homes with poor curb appeal or poor landscaping wouldn’t sell at all.
When I listed low-curb-appeal homes, the owners couldn’t understand why their homes were rarely shown. But, buyers simply would not walk through the door to look at the inside of the homes – mainly because the homes had no emotional appeal.
Emotion sells homes, and emotional appeal starts at the street. If your home isn’t enticing from the outside, buyers will drive by without stopping to look at the inside.
Because we’re in a buyer’s market, curb appeal is especially important today. If the exterior of your home is attractive and well maintained, buyers are more likely to stop and look around.
So, inspect your property. Take a really good look at it, and be objective. A few minor improvements can lead to a real increase in the number of people who view your home and a much quicker sale. You can enhance your home’s curb appeal by taking some very easy steps: Mow your yard, trim your shrubs, and remove any weeds, even if it’s the middle of winter. You want your yard to look neat and clean. Clean up the junk in your yard, especially if you have children. Put away bikes and toys. Pick up trash. Clean up dead tree limbs and fallen leaves. Disconnect the garden hose and store it in the garage. Store trash bins out of sight. Keep your driveway and sidewalks swept and clean. Paint the front door and door trim. In addition, change the deadbolt and doorknob so they look new and work perfectly. Inspect your porch light. Clean it inside and out. If it’s outdated, worn, or unattractive, replace it with a new light fixture. Clean your windows inside and out. You want them to sparkle from the street. Consider hiring professional window cleaners; they’re fast, they do a great job, and, usually, their services are reasonably priced. Remove and clean your window screens, but store them in the garage. This will make the windows look cleaner. The inside of your home will look brighter, too. Upgrade a plain doorbell with something fun or decorative. You can replace your doorbell for $20 or less. Just search online for “doorbell” or go to your local hardware store. While you have your home for sale, keep your garage door down at all times. If your fence can be seen from the street, make sure it looks good. Make repairs and give it a new coat of paint or stain before you put your home on the market. Be on the lookout for elegant decorative outdoor items to buy and strategically place in your front yard. Consider buying a fountain and putting it near the front door. (Fountains have become quite popular recently. )
If you really want to sell your home, consider how your potential buyers will see it while they are sitting in their car on the street. Do the work necessary to make it look its best. Remember, your home only has one chance to make a good first impression.
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