Ulster County Real Estate - Home Staging Tips: Curb Appeal
Before a prospective buyer even enters the front door to your house, they view the outside. As they pull up, your home comes into view and this first impression may be all it takes for them to continue inside or just ask the realtor to keep driving to the next listing. Talk about disappointing. You, the seller have just spent time tidying up and staging the inside of your home. However, no one mentioned the need to dress up the outside.
Before you list your home, take a walk directly across the street from your house. This view is one that we, the owner, fail to see as we go about life. We get in our cars and drive to and fro and rarely look at how our homes look to passersby. We become immune to its appeal. This view is critical to the way your home will show to the market and definitely needs to be addressed.
The first items to tackle on the to-do list are overgrown or dead shrubs and trees. When overgrown, plants prohibit the buyer from seeing the house and if they are located in front of a window they block light from entering. If any plantings have died, remove them and put in a new replacement. Fresh mulch around flower beds will dress up the garden and a freshly mown lawn instantly adds curb appeal. It is the blanket that leads your potential buyers’ right up to the entrance.
The next project is eliminating any unnecessary items from the yard and patio. Children’s toys should be stored when a showing is scheduled. Take down the trampolines and outdoor play houses. These are only distractions and not aesthetically pleasing to the overall landscape. The dried up potted plants from last summer need to go. As much as you think you can revive those poor, scraggly plants left over from last season, be realistic and say goodbye to them. Garbage cans should definitely be hidden in the shed or garage. Not only are they unsightly, but if not hosed down occasionally, they tend to emit odors of long forgotten meals. Not a very appetizing aroma.
Firewood should be stacked away from the home. I see many houses that store their wood near the door. Granted this makes for easy accessibility when the snow is blowing and the wind is frigid. Unfortunately, firewood is a haven for carpenter ants and everyone’s favorite--- snakes. Few buyers want to be greeted by a friendly snake sunbathing on top of the woodpile.
Painting the exterior of the entire house can be an expensive repair and very often unnecessary. Pressure washing the siding will remove dirt and mold. A fresh coat of paint on the trim, door and shutters will often be enough to freshen-up the present paint job. Power-wash the deck, or if necessary, a new coat of deck paint or stain will transform a mold covered, soiled deck to a refreshing place for a buyer to imagine entertaining. It is important to stage your outdoor living space, but keep furniture to a minimum. Let the buyer feel how expansive even the smallest deck can be.
Spruce up your front porch. The front door makes a strong impression when entering the home and invites the buyer in to see more. Be certain that the door knob is in good working order. Place a few potted plants on the porch and keep them watered and maintained. Be sure that all exterior lighting is functioning and use the brightest light bulbs allowed for the fixtures. You never know when a buyer may do a viewing or even a drive by after dark.
This Ulster County Real Estate Home Sellers Tip is provided by: Anna Sember, of The Well Dressed House.
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