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Curb Appeal Helps Make a Good Impression on Buyers

While maintaining your home’s systems and decorating its interior are sure to persuade buyers that the place is move-in ready, you won’t get anywhere with home shoppers if they don’t make it to the front door. That’s why it’s important to remember that a listed home’s exterior is one of the most important ingredients in a home sale.

Many buyers look at homes online and rely on pictures before deciding they might be interested in a property, or they find addresses of homes that may appeal to them and do drive-bys before contacting an agent who can show them the property’s interior. For these reasons, it’s very important to present a tidy and well-kept exterior to the buyer. Just as many sellers choose to “stage” or rearrange and de-clutter a home’s interior, sellers would be wise to spend time on their home’s exterior. It’s surprising how just a few hours’ or a few days’ worth of work can give your home a “makeover.”

So what can you do to increase curb appeal? First of all, de-clutter the yard. Put away children’s toys, your lawn tools, and any laundry hanging out to dry and throw away any old garbage or repair projects that can’t be contained inside. Also close the garage door and consider resurfacing or cleaning the driveway.

From there, give your yard a good haircut: Trim grass, edge sidewalks and remove weeds growing between bricks or slabs of concrete, weed garden beds, and prune or trim back bushes and trees.

Next, lighten up: If you have time to refresh the home’s exterior paint, that will help tremendously. If not, repainting home trim around windows, the front door, or painting fencing surrounding the property can also bring out its color. Then add color: Mount window baskets containing bright, inexpensive flowers on the front of the house, add plants and bushes to garden beds, or place colorful potted plants out front to add color to your yard.

Check to make sure front lights are working, and consider setting them on timers so that the home will be illuminated at strategic hours when would-be buyers might be in the neighborhood. Also make sure that pets are prepared for the sale. If your dog barks or if pets frequently leave droppings or dig up lawns, keep animals indoors or in the back yard and clean up after them frequently. Finally, homey touches include placing rocking chairs or cozy lounge chairs on porches and patios, and appealing to buyers’ senses by hanging wind chimes or choosing fragrant plants that will leave potential buyers with good memories of your home’s sounds and smells. Seasonal décor, such as wreathes or candle-lit windows can also evoke coziness.