Selling Your Home Part 2
Don’t get caught off-guard when selling your home
Prepare your home for listing
Outside the home
In Part 1 of this series we spoke about the importance of changes or updates to the inside of the home. This part of the series highlights the importance of updates to the outside of the home. As with the inside of the home, the outside can have dramatic impact the value of your home; so what can often be very small investments can pay tremendous dividends in the resale value of your home. The following areas are of particular importance:
Be sure the street and curb in front of your home is clean and fee of debris. If necessary, sweep the area thoroughly, and use a hose to remove hard-to-clean stains or litter.
Sidewalk and Walkway
Be sure to remove any weeds that may be growing in the cracks of your sidewalk, and sweep it well. If the sidewalk is in particularly bad condition, contact your town to see if there is an opportunity to fix the sidewalk in short order. At the very least, you can let prospective owners know of the pending improvement.
A freshly painted fence gives any home an updated, fresh look. Sand and paint your fence in a neutral color (white for wood, and black for iron). Be sure the hinges and latch off the gate are in good order, or consider replacing them. As this is one of the first areas a prospective homeowner sees, this sets the tone for the rest of the home visit.
A quick painting or even a replacement of a mailbox can add a fresh look to the home, and demonstrate that you care about the small details. A small investment in decorative house numbers can also provide this impression.
Neatly trimmed shrubs are critical, and can make a major impact on the look of the entire front lawn. For a minimal cost, you will have maximum impact. Front lawns should be freshly mowed and should look healthy. If there are bare spots, or yellow patches, attempt to lay seed and/or fertilize to provide some level of coverage. If the spots are particularly bad and beyond help, a little sod can go a long way to restoring the appearance of a well-maintained yard.
Make sure you consider the condition of your driveway. If it is stained or worn looking, consider resealing the surface with a high quality sealer. Be sure it is well swept, and free of any miscellaneous clutter.
Paint or Siding
A fresh coat of paint can be a worthwhile investment if the condition is particularly faded, worn or peeling; otherwise a fresh coat on the shutters and/or door may be all that is needed to liven up the appearance of the home. If you have aluminum or vinyl siding, use a cleaning service to clean the surface.
Windows have a dramatic effect on the look of a home. Make sure the windows are clean both inside and out, consider installing window boxes with bright seasonal flowers, and if no shutters exist, consider the addition of suitable shutters to bring together the front of the home.
The entryway is typically the focal-point of a home, so special attention must be made to this area. A first step is to repaint the front door, and update any hardware that is not in pristine condition. Consider installing a kick-plate to the door for a more sophisticated look. If you have a front stoop or porch, be sure to clean the area of any stains or debris. Place a flower box alongside the entry to liven up the doorway. Be sure the front light is working and the fixture is up-to-date.
As with the inside of the home, lighting fixtures can have a detrimental impact on buyer perception. Although indoor the focus is as much on the light provided by the fixtures, it is uncommon for buyers to view your home at night. For this reason, our focus is on the appearance of the fixture. If the fixture looks rusted or worn out, consider an update.
The roof can have a major impact on the value of a home, both in its appearance and in its assessed value. An un-maintained roof will create a red flag with a home inspector, and roofing in disrepair will negatively impact the look of the home from the street. Be sure to replace any broken or missing tiles or shingles, and repair flashing where needed. If the roof is in particularly bad condition, you may wish to make the investment of replacing the roof. While this can be a significant investment, it typically adds to the value of the home in excess of the cost.