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Don’t Forget About Your Property’s Exterior

Published on Thursday - February 18, 2016

In most cases, when you sell a property, your focus is on the interior of the home. You go back and forth on countertops, flooring, and fixtures without giving much thought to the exterior.  The exterior is the first thing that potential buyers see when they pull up to your house.  If it is a mess, their first impression is a negative one.  The interior can be perfect but at that point it may not make a difference.  There are a handful of things that you can do in various price ranges to improve the curb appeal of a property.  These items often turn out to make all the difference.  Here are a few things you can do to boost the exterior of your property.

  • Front Yard. The condition of the grass is one of the first things that buyers notice. It doesn’t have to look like Wrigley field but it can’t be a dirt patch either. As soon as you take ownership you should start on the yard. It can take several weeks, or months, to grow fresh looking grass. If this isn’t an option you can look at sod as an alternative. This could end up being costly but it can pay dividends when it is time to sell.
  • Driveway, Walkway And Garage. With the exterior you want to focus on entryways to the property. If the driveway is the prime parking location you need to spend some time on this. For starters you need to make sure there are no weeds growing in the cracks. You can also consider changing a rock driveway over to asphalt. If you decide to keep the asphalt you can look at sealing it if it looks old and warn. The same is the case with the front walkway. It needs to be free of weeds and any overgrown plants or bushes. You should also consider updating the walk if it is outdated. Finally the exterior of the garage can be a hidden disaster. A fresh coat of paint can really go a long way. This same can be said with switching out old, rusted handles.
  • Power Wash. Updating the exterior is often full of numerous, smaller tasks. One of those tasks is power washing the siding. Old, dirty vinyl siding just doesn’t look very good. Instead of showing off a great feature of the house you are doing it a disservice. You can start with a regular outside hose but this may not be enough to remove dirt and dust. You can rent a power washer at almost any local hardware store. If you decide to do this yourself you should use some caution as the force of the water could cause damage. In less than an hour you can get the exterior looking as good as new and often times even better.
  • Gutters. One thing about buyers is that they will look at every inch of the property. They will certainly notice if the gutters are overfilled and hanging off the house. A quick trip on a ladder to remove any excess will do wonders. If they gutters are dirty you can use a hose if you don’t want to rent a power washer.
  • Flowers. The exterior of a property creates the mood. Just like weeds and dying plants paint a negative picture fresh flowers can do the opposite. Your front yard doesn’t have to look like a florist but a few fresh flowers certainly add appeal. Look to add flowers as close to the front door as possible. This is one of the last items that will be noticed upon entering the house.
  • Front Door. The front door is one of the most consistently overlooked items from sellers. This is the very last thing that is noticed before entering. You can’t expect to sell a property with an old door that has peeling paint on it. The idea scenario would be to replace it all together but this can be difficult and a little pricey. If you don’t want to replace you should at least add a fresh coat of glossy paint. Be careful not to get paint on any door windows or the handle.
  • Bushes & Mulch. Bushes and plants can be a nice touch if they are taken care of. A new small bush gives a buyer the feeling of home. Conversely if they are overgrown or dying they will have a negative impact. New bushes are easy to plant and inexpensive to buy. You don’t want bushes to cover every inch in front of the house but a few is often welcome. The key is to make sure these are properly manicured and updated. New bushes in a bed of fresh mulch can make the house look like a million bucks.
  • Finishing Touches. Before you are finished with the exterior you should take one final look. There are always a handful of smaller items that go a long way. A new welcome matt or mailbox gives the home a personal touch. New numbers on the house and fresh paint on the hand railings is also nice. By putting yourself in buyer’s shoes you will greatly increase demand when it is time to sell.

The exterior is a hidden selling point. Often times the little things you do can make the biggest difference.  Think about curb appeal before you sell your next property.

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