Homeowners vary. That’s what we’ve learned after helping to sell their homes for the past 17 years. The extremes are comical:
- the homeowner that thinks everything is fine the way it is. “If the G– D—– buyer’s want more they can do it themselves!”
- the homeowner going to every extreme to attract the buyer. ” We’ve only got one shot at this!”
This post is for both. There’s the over-achievers and the under-acheivers. Of course, theirs also the condo, loft or villa owner that relishes in not doing anything outdoors. They’re not completely out of the woods though.
When somone is thinking about selling a (single family)home, the best thing to do after they call their Realtor, is walk outside and look at the home from the street, take a picture, and look at it with a critical eye. Buyer’s have a critical eye, and the more items that are addressed and looking good, the more excited buyer’s can get.
Since its springtime now, the rush is on to get the home dressed up and on the market before the market cools. No one knows if or when the market will cool, but often its weather dependent.
Clean / Powerwash / Paint
Often times in looking at “new things” to do do spruce up a home for sale, people forget that cobwebs and dirt on your fixtures, siding, and doors take the crisp look away from your house. That part of spring cleaning is important.
Door Hardware and Lighting
We typically don’t think about door handles as long as they’re working. Getting ready to sell, a homeowner should look to see if they’re stylish and in good condition, and even if they match a house. The standard brass finish door handle can also take away from the look, and a cheap replacement that’s brushed nickel or bronze tone. Often times, picking a new lockset and a sconce light that goes with the new lockset can make a huge difference in the buyer’s perception of the house walking up.
Trim or Plant Trees
Spring is a great time to plant new trees. Fall is a good time to trim, Usually its better to plant a tree a few years before you sell, so you can get enjoyment from the tree, and know when its looking its best. Unfortunately, tree planting is sometimes the thing that gets put off, and never done. A fresh tree planting that’s properly placed can add a nice focal point.
Depending upon when you’re going to sell, fresh mulch is a must! A nice layer in beds and around trees looks great in photos. We recommend black, due to the high contrast and crisp look. Even if the home didn’t previously have mulched beds. Often times mulch beds are understated, and when you’re getting ready to sell, adding to your beds (depth and / or area) can add dimension to the front yard and curb appeal. Making the beds more noticable for those approaching can form the opinions about the overall condition. Conversely, if a home looks tired from the outside, the buyer’s concerns grow, and it can shape the overall showing.
Adding a pop of color around windows is popular! Most landscape centers or home improvement centers offer flower boxes that can clamp onto a window sill, and its a quick, easy and affordable way to dress up your curb appeal.
Greenery can add to the story when selling. Raised beds, large pots, verticle gardens can be placed, either in front or back, to show off the utilitarian features of a home, and serve as a focal point for guests and photos. A barren back yard or front porch can be boring to buyer’s.
FALL HOME PREPARATION
In suburbia, driveways are common. For anyone with an asphalt driveway, taking a look at the overall condition in the fall is a great idea. Re-sealing companies are great, because they have heated up sealant that can go on in pretty much any dry weather. A nice fresh coat of driveway sealant can be a huge aesthetic step, as well as a great way to show your home is being properly maintained.
Fall can also be a great time to have your yard properly edged. Edging the lawn right before a sale can be a little messy, and can look a bit unnatural. Having well defined edges between driveways, mulch beds, and the curb is a top recommendation for landscaping.
Our first advice for fall would be to over-seed the lawn with perenial rye grass and to repair any damages left from invasive species like crab grass. Having a lush lawn in springtime makes a big difference in curb appeal and work during September and October can go a long way.