You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Buyers will judge your home before they walk through the front door. Prospective home buyers decide if they’re interested or not within the first 15 to 30 seconds of pulling up to your home. It’s important to make sure people feel welcome and safe as they approach your house. Below are a few tips to help you make a great first impression!
Make sure the street in front of your house is free of litter and debris. If necessary, give it a fresh sweep.
•Sidewalk, Front Walkway and Driveway
Nothing gives a front yard a face lift like a good old fashioned broom and a garden hose! Sweep your sidewalk, walkways and driveway. Remove weeds that may be growing between cracks. If sections are badly cracked, consider having them repaired. Make sure all your cement areas and cement control joints are spick and span. If the surface condition of your driveway is stained or worn-looking, consider resealing it with a high quality sealer product. If you have cars parked in the driveway, they should have the appearance of a recently washed and waxed automobile. A well-maintained vehicle will make a much different statement about you and your property than an unattractive, poorly cared for car. If you think your car will be a detriment to the look of your property, park it down the street.
•Light Fixtures and The Mailbox
A quick painting of an old mailbox will let the buyer know you care about the details. If outdoor lamps look rusted and worn out, new ones will cast a positive light on your property.
Neatly trimmed shrubs are essential. Taking the time to do this costs little, but has a big impact. Besides being freshly mowed and trimmed, a lawn should look healthy. If there are spots that look beyond help, a little sod goes a long way to restoring the look of a well-maintained lawn. Prune shrubs, plants and flowers. Also, trim trees that hang over the roof line (most home inspectors will notice and write it on the buyer’s home inspection report). If you have soil areas that are empty, spend a couple of dollars and place some potted plants throughout to make it visually appealing and inviting. Keep your landscaping as neat looking as possible.
•Paint and Siding
Paint your house, if necessary. A fresh coat of paint can be one of the best investments you can make to increase the value of your property. This can do more for the sales appeal than any other item. If you do not want to spend the money to paint the entire house, consider touching up shutters, window frames, window trim or the front of the house. If you have vinyl or aluminum siding, have a cleaning service wash or repaint it using a product designed for these materials.
Attractive windows can help increase the appeal of your property. Replace any cracked or broken glass. Make sure the windows are sparkling clean. Start with soap and water, and finish off any front windows with glass cleaner. You can also use a glass cleaner that attaches to your garden hose to clean those out of reach windows.
The roof may be the single most important aspect of your home front. A well-maintained roof will say a lot about the overall condition of the property. Replace any broken or missing shingles or tiles. Repair flashing where needed. Paint eaves and fascia boards. If the roof is old and needs to be replaced, consider having the work done before showing the property.
•Gutters and Downspouts
Neat and trim-looking gutters and downspouts make a house look shipshape. Consider replacing highly visible ones if they are in need of serious repair. If run off areas are eroded, you can install concrete or other “spillways.”
•Front Porch Fabulous
Dress up your front porch. Invest in a brand new welcome mat. Buy some small plants or flowers that line the walkway to your front door. Add a welcome touch by adding a sitting bench and flower box with brightly colored flowers. Replace house numbers and install a new front light fixture.
•Front Door Fabulous
The doorway is the focal point of your house. Make sure you clean and scrub your front door, and surrounding areas. Repaint or stain the front door, if necessary. Don't be afraid to invest a couple extra bucks in a new door handle, door knocker or brass kick plate. Make sure there is no dirt or grime in corners and remove any cobwebs.
The swimming pool or spa should be sparkling clean and in good operating condition. Repair or replace broken tiles. Patio and/or decking around the pool should be clean and cracks repaired. Pool filter and heating equipment area should be cleaned. Replace worn or broken pool equipment (brushes, hoses, sweeps, pool covers, etc.). If your pool is stained, you may want to have a professional service drain and acid wash or refinish the surface.
Dispose of any garbage, debris, loose leaves, etc. Make sure trash cans and lawn mowers are stored away from the front of the house. Water hoses should be properly stored in a nice neat fashion. Store any unneeded items in an undisclosed place. Straightening up will give your front yard an automatic face lift.
•Accentuate Your Selling Points
Every home has a different characteristic that makes it
beautiful. A great window, an attractive lawn, etc. Whatever your special
characteristic is, make sure to show it off to your prospective home buyers! If
you think your home is lacking a special feature, consider adding shutters or window
awnings or install window boxes with flowers to the front of your house.