How to Prepare The Exterior of Your Home.

 

 

Smallest House in Belfast.

Smallest house in Belfast.

How to Prepare the Exterior of Your Home.

The preparation of the exterior of your home is as important, if not more important, than the preparation of the interior! Why? The goal during the listing period is to maximize the number of people who see your home. We want buzz, and people talking about it whenever and wherever (twitter, facebook, at social gatherings, etc.) Many young adults love to share what’s happening in their lives and we want them to talk about the wonderful home they saw today. Even if it’s above their budgeted max, perhaps a friend, who can afford it, will learn about it and set a showing appointment… Just like finding a job, networking works in selling a home. The more buzz or chatter the better.

To maximize the showings, the exterior MUST be appealing, especially the front of the home. Since many people drive around neighborhoods, if your home doesn’t stand out and offer strong curb appeal, you WILL miss out on some showings. People often will pass on seeing the inside, if the exterior doesn’t look well kept. FIRST IMPRESSIONS matter!!

So what needs to be done?

1. The lawn needs to be well kept and have no dead spots or an abundance of weeds. Also, keep the front yard free of any litter.

 

2. Trim all the shrubs so they don’t exceed the height of the lower part of the windows. Remember, we want the interior to be bright and tall shrubs that hide the windows won’t allow much sunlight to filter through.

 

3. If you have flower beds, tidy them up by pulling the weeds, planting fresh flowers and adding mulch. You might also take a spade and cut a fresh line along the edge of the flower bed where it meets the lawn. Finally, if the weather permits, plant some flowers and place flower pots on either side of the front door. Don’t forget, we want the home to be remembered.

 

4. Examine all of the painted exterior surfaces and if you observe some flaking or peeling, scrape away the old paint and apply a fresh coat. Unfortunately, in most instances spot repairs won’t work, since the colors won’t match, so be prepared to paint a larger area than simply the damaged area.  Also, the soffits need to be checked for rot and if any areas are damaged they need to be cut out, repaired and painted.

 

5. Clean out the gutters to ensure they’re functioning correctly. A gutter filled with leaves suggests a lack of care and leaves a bad first impression. (e.g., if the gutters aren’t maintained, what else has been neglected?)  

 

6. If you have any trees around the house, make sure there aren’t any obvious dead limbs. Remove any dead branches so the yard looks neat and well maintained.

 7. If you have children, make sure their bicycles and other toys are stowed away each night and don’t litter the front yard. Also, if you have a front entry garage, keep the garage doors down. An open garage door can ruin any curb appeal.

8. If you must sell in the wintertime and you’re in a cold weather climate, make sure the driveway and path to the front door are clear of any snow and ice.

9. If you have a deck or patio, make sure they are both in good condition. If you have a patio, has it been sealed recently with a petroleum product from Eagle or an alternative manufacturer? If not, go ahead and get this done. Wood decks periodically need to be treated with a water sealant such as Thompsons Water Seal or they may be stained with products from Cabot and other manufacturers. Remember, today’s buyer doesn’t want your deferred maintenance tasks.

 When potential buyers actually visit the home, they will notice the condition of the front door and the porch. Again, first impressions matter, so make sure the front door doesn’t look abused and unappealing. A fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference to a front door. If necessary, install a new one.  Also, clean the threshold and remove any cobwebs. Treat the front porch with a water sealant, so it looks very well maintained. The last task is to thoroughly clean all the windows, both inside and out. If any of the thermo pane windows have lost their seal and condensation is visible, replace those panes of glass. (If you live in Louisville, KY, I know a fellow who can do this very cost effectively.)

 When that offer is received you’ll be glad you spent the time and money to beautify the exterior!

Please feel free to offer your thoughts on this topic. The more everyone shares, the more quickly everyone will be able to sell their home for the highest price!! Thanks very much.

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons by The Noggin_Nogged

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