It's almost fall and the race to buy a new home is on! If you're a homebuyer, you definately are on a house-hunting mission! If you and your real estate agent do "drive bys," you've probably eliminated a few properties based on their exterior appearance - including broken railings, children's toys in the yard or an unmowed lawn. Curb appeal is so important to the prospective homebuyer. It could mean the difference between a "sale" and "no sale."
If you are the home seller, here are some recommendations to keep your home in pristine condition and appeal to the prospective homebuyer's "drive by":
1. Make sure that your lawn is freshly cut and that leaves in your lawn are raked. If winter has set in, please make sure that the snow has been shoveled in the driveway and on walk-ways and sidewalks.
2. Your home's entryway should be attractive and welcoming. Consider a potted plant by the entrance, repaint the door, add a beautiful wreath on the door and/or a new exterior light to highlight the entrance.
3. Make sure that you repair or replace any problems - such as broken railings, doors, lights, or other exterior items. It means so much to a prospective buyer to be greeted with a welcoming exterior.
4. Clean and sweep clean your walkway and drive way.
5. Store away garbarge cans, recycling bins and other "extras" in the front yard.
6. Ensure that the exterior of your home is power-washed, including siding and decks. It is an alternative to painting. If the exterior of your home is clean, it will show well to prospective buyers.
7. Store-away your treasures that could look like "clutter" to prospective buyers. It will distract them and they will not be able to envision themselves in your home -- which is a very important element in whether or not the potential buyers will fall in love with your home and want to buy it.
8. Tackle one project at a time when you're de-cluttering your home. Go through your closets and pare-down the things you want to keep and the ones you want to give-away or discard.
9. You do not want little problems in a room to distract the buyer and cause the potential buyer to focus on the flaws. For example, ensure that peeling wallpaper is glued down, chipping paint is repaired and that all covers on all electrical/lighting outlets are replaced. Repair all dripping faucets and moldy caulking. Believe it or not, this really makes a difference!
So, my advice to home sellers - do a walk-through of your home. Try to have a critical eye and identify any potential problems that possible buyers may see.
Real estate agents and professional home stagers can help you with this tedious process. Remember, this is a difficult real estate market and you need to ensure that your home looks its best - the first time. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Please let me know you need an objective opinion. I can help you if you in the Anne Arundel (Maryland) county, Southern Maryland or Eastern Shore area. Good luck to you!!!