It’s time to put your home on the market. Are you beating out the competition when selling your home, or are you are step behind? You can’t change your home’s location or the school district you live in, but you can change the first impression that people have when they see your home.
Get a neutral opinion: You’ve seen the outside of your home so many times, ask a friend, neighbor or your real estate agent to give you an honest, objective opinion. Your house is the primary focal point, but don’t overlook the side and rear of the house.
Keep in mind the…
1. Exterior paint: The color and condition of your home’s exterior paint job is one of the single most important things to a prospective buyer. No matter what color the house is, if the paint job is faded and peeling, it’s an immediate warning sign to buyers that the house hasn’t been maintained, so they’ll have their magnifying glass out to look for other defects. A long weekend and a few hundred dollars in paint can make a world of difference in how well the home shows and how quickly it sells.
2. Roofing: A bad roof is another indicator of a general lack of maintenance, and may point a finger at potential structural and even mold problems resulting from leaks. Roofs are expensive to replace, but depending on your market and your desire to reap top dollar from the sale, you may want to take a hard look at the economics of re-roofing.
Talk with your agent about the pros and cons of re-roofing now versus crediting the cost of a new roof to the buyer in escrow.
3. Driveway and walkways: Driveways are a pretty dominant feature in most homes. Clean any oil-stained concrete, and repair small cracks before they get larger. For asphalt driveways, a seal-coat can often make a big difference in appearance and help prolong the asphalt as well.
How about walkways? When someone arrives, is there a clear and safe path to your front door? You may not mind walking across your front lawn, but guests and prospective buyers would definitely prefer a walkway.
4. Landscaping: Landscaping is a huge part of that first impression, so remember to take a critical look at it.
- Fertilize and water the lawn regularly to green it up, and run an edger along sidewalks and driveway edges.
- Rake up leaves and pine needles.
- Prune or remove those wild shrubs, and trim overhanging tree branches.