Sell your home faster with greater curb appeal
A home’s exterior is the first, and sometimes last, chance it has to impress a potential buyer. In a difficult selling market, a house’s curb appeal can mean the difference between a quick sale and months sitting on the listings. There are a few simple steps any homeowner can take, however, to improve his or her house’s appearance and dramatically improve its odds of selling quickly and for the right price. These are the top five ways to improve curb appeal without breaking the bank in the process.
Nothing cheers up the front of a home like some well-coordinated blossoms. Flowers can be planted in beds or in pots, depending on any neighborhood regulations and the amount of effort the homeowner is willing to put into it. A garden bed is more natural-looking and can be designed with greater flexibility, but it also requires taking up grass and putting in borders. Pots are much easier to install, can be moved around as needed and can even become a decorative accent in their own right. If you’re particularly cunning, you could even take them with you when you sell and move, although make sure you forewarn the buyers about what is staying and what isn’t! Flowers should be showy, but not too difficult to grow and keep alive – dead plants are hardly going to impress!
Maintain the Landscaping
There’s nothing that will drive down an entire neighborhood’s value like an overgrown lawn. Long grass with plenty of weeds tells buyers that the homeowners could not even be bothered to mow the grass, so what else has been neglected? Other signs of a shabby yard include trees with poor pruning, weeds in flower beds and unruly hedges. All of these represent more work to buyers, who want to see a house that looks picture perfect and ready to move into. Even if a seller is no longer living in the house, he or she should stop by or hire someone to keep the yard looking pristine – a few weekly dollars could easily earn you thousands extra due to the improvement in your property’s image, not to mention the value of not turning neighbors into enemies…
Add a Fresh Coat of Paint
The fastest way to give an entire house a face-lift is to repaint the exterior. It may not be noticeable over the course of several years, but paint fades and becomes dingy over time. What may look normal to a home’s owner can look drab to a potential buyer. Paint the house in neutral colors to present a blank canvas to buyers. A bright shade of green will put off many, but it’s hard to be offended by a bland off-white or light blue. If the house has a deck or a garage, it may be wise to also apply new stain or paint to them, as well. A new coat of paint has an estimated return-on-investment of over 50 percent.
Everyone has seen a house with weeds growing out of the gutters at least once, and it’s not a welcome sight to home buyers. Although well-groomed gutters are rarely noticed by visitors, an old system will bring down the appearance of the entire house and in any case can cause serious structural problems water doesn’t drain in the right places. If gutters are chipped, cracked, askew or rusted, it’s time to replace them. In general, anything visible should be in top shape. Even small things like the gutters can subconsciously affect buyers’ decisions.
Build a Fence
A fence requires a bit more investment, but it is well worth the extra cost. Buyers like the feeling of security, and the safety of being able to confine their pets or children to the yard. Picket fences are the most popular, but a privacy fence in the backyard may be preferable. A gate should be readily available along the front, and the fence must have a fresh coat of paint and no damaged areas. A well-built fence has an estimated return-on-investment of up to 75 percent, making it one of the best decisions a homeowner looking to sell can make.
For an owner accustomed to seeing his or her home everyday, targeting a house’s weak points can be difficult. It’s best to have a friend or real-estate agent do a cold, honest evaluation to get a better understanding of what strangers will see when they pull up to the curb. Any improvements made before a sale will be rewarded later, and there are still plenty of young families hoping to buy a home in this weak economy. The difference between success and failure largely depends on the care and investment a homeowner puts into his or her property.
These tips come from Jamie at a company providing a conservatory prices comparison across England, Northern Ireland and Wales… they’re a popular way of homeowners in the UK of easily adding a bit of extra living space for very little cost.