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Tips To Improve Your Curb Appeal

Written by Bill Ball on Thursday, 19 June 2003 7:00 pm
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Every seller knows that there home should have "curb appeal." But what exactly does that mean.

Before you go to the expense of replacing major components, try some of these tips:

  • Trim the vegetation around your home -- particularly those bushes that may conceal windows. Then be sure that your landscaping looks great all of the time, even if you have to hire a gardener while your home is listed.

  • Invite visitors into your home by placing yellow flowers near or at the entry porch. Yellow draws the eye, and potential buyers will feel immediately welcome.

  • If there is patio furniture or BBQ and playground equipment in the backyard, be sure it is in good repair.

  • If you know the day that your home will be shown, buy a loaf of frozen bread and bake it before the potential buyers arrive. Leave the exhaust hood off so the odor will spread throughout the house. When I was a real estate agent, (because I couldn't bake bread), I learned to take a cookie sheet with me to my open houses. I would put the oven on warm, and place the cookie sheet inside with a little cinnamon on it. As the cinnamon warmed up, well, you get the idea.

  • In the Master Suite bath a pleasant a odor is a good idea too. Do NOT use potpourri. Many people are allergic to it. Instead, get some cheap strawberry bath bubbles at the drug store, and run a half tub full of hot water with the bubbles. After you let the water out, the room will have a pleasing atmosphere, and most people won't know why.

  • I think it goes without saying, but I've learned to say it anyway…..The family room and a child's room needs to be picked up, and the beds made.

  • Take down family photos on the hallway and living room walls. If you're trying to sell your home, it pays to let the buyer imagine their photos on the walls. I don't think this is necessary in the Master Suite — As a matter of fact I believe that family photos on the dresser there and around the TV entertainment area of your home imply that this house is a "good family" place.

  • Speaking of hearth and home impressions, nothing says that more than a fireplace. If it is cold outside, light your fireplace, (provided it doesn't smoke). The image of a warm fire is universally appealing to buyers.

  • Remove excess furniture. I know, ALL of your furniture is necessary, but..... Take a tour of the model homes at your local builder, and you'll find furniture that is two-thirds of normal size, and very little of it. Why?…. Because it makes the rooms look larger.

  • Speaking of making things look larger, my last suggestion is the hardest one for me. My garage has never been clean, but you should clean yours out before you list your home, even it this means you have rent a storage facility. Also, leave the cars out when your home is to be shown.

    If these tips don't help, then you can consider doing the expensive things. But give the tips above a try first. I can testify they can make a home appealing and that appealing homes get more offers.

    Finally, in case your agent hasn't told you, if possible, you should leave the premises while your home is be shown to potential buyers. Your presence makes buyers uncomfortable, and they may not linger long enough, or be honest enough with their agent, if they think you can hear their conversation.

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    Individual news stories are based upon the opinions of the writer and does not reflect the opinion of Realty Times.