Curb Appeal

Don’t Neglect Areas Which Enhance ‘Curb Appeal’ When Prepping Home For Sale

When it comes to selling your home, the expression, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression” has never been more valid.

And while many home sellers concentrate on their homes’ interior when it comes to prepping the house for potential buyers, it would be wise, indeed, to first focus on the yard — front, side, and back — in order to enhance the home’s overall ‘curb appeal.’ After all, besides the house itself, the yard is usually the second thing that captures the buyer’s focus. And, taking extra steps to get this area in tip-top shape will go a long way in enticing the buyer to want to see the home’s interior, as well.

First, try to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. With that in mind, it’s very helpful to park at the end of your driveway or even across the street to take in the ‘big picture’ of the house and yard, just as the buyer would do. After that, get out of your car, and be super-observant as you walk along the path the potential buyer would take, paying particular attention to the front yard, side yards, driveway, and sidewalk.

As you observe the overall appearance of these areas, take note of your initial impression, from an objective point of view. Note anything glaringly obvious that could convey a negative notion to the buyer’s mind, and which would warrant special attention.

Although you will, most likely, want — in reality, need –to stay within a budget, try to see the financial benefits of spending a reasonable amount of money on enhancements which would obviously augment your home’s sale potential. If the financial gains are likely to substantially outweigh the costs involved, it would behoove you to go ahead and fork out the extra bucks. For example, now might be the perfect time to get rid of the half-rotted tree in the front yard which has been an eyesore for some time, and, which, you were planning to remove sooner or later anyway.

At the same time, note any positive aspects of the yards, walkways, and driveway, and think about ways to enhance them. Maybe planting some flowers alongside the uniquely-shaped sidewalk, which has garnered countless compliments in the past, would be enhanced by planting some flowers or other plants

Yard, driveway, and sidewalks:

Observe the condition of the front and side yards – buyers will notice these areas before they even consider the back yard. And, unless you’re the type who spends five hours per day transforming his or her yard into something befitting the Taj Mahal, it may be obvious that it’s in dire need of being spruced up. However, it’s amazing the extent to which you can beautify you yard – and, thus – enhance your home’s overall appeal by association – by following these simple tips – most of which require only your time and sweat (of course, some tips won’t apply, depending on the season):

  • Rake and dispose of the leaves.
  • Prune any unsightly or dead branches from trees, paying special attention to those which obscure the view to your house from the street, or are touching your home’s roof.
  • Trim the hedges and bushes.
  • Edge the sidewalks and driveway.
  • Eliminate any vegetation growing in sidewalk and driveway cracks.
  • Make sure to remove gardening implements, or other objects, which don’t belong in the yard.
  • Mow the yard, and dispose of loose grass clippings.
  • Keep garbage cans out of sight.
  • Sweep, and, if necessary, scrub all hard-surface areas where the buyer may be walking

Take a critical view of everything afterwards, and note any areas which you think would raise an objection in the buyer’s mind. For example, if the driveway or sidewalk still appears dingy after sweeping and scrubbing, you may want to invest in a pressure-washing service to make these areas shine.

In addition, if a sidewalk or driveway is so decrepit that it’s basically a mass of countless cracks, is falling apart, or is, otherwise, unsafe, it would be foolish not to have it replaced. After all, it’s rather difficult to entice a potential buyer to enter through your home’s front door when he or she is hesitant to do so for fear of stumbling on the way there.

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