Know Before You Show. Preparing the Exterior of Your Home. (edit/delete)
Key Rules to Showing Your Home: Preparing The Exterior
In my last blog, I wrote about how to prepare and stage the interior of your home so that every showing counts. I suggested going through your home room by room and making some significant decisions about which items you want to sell, store, toss, donate, and keep. This methodical approach helps organize even homeowners who are living with years of accumulated belongings.
When it comes to staging the exterior of your home for the best impression at every showing, the same principles apply. It is vital not to neglect the appearance and cleanliness of your outdoor spaces and yard because they provide the first impression a prospective homebuyer will have about the property.
To achieve this all important “curb appeal,” you’ll want to begin in the same way you managed your indoor space, by weeding out and storing anything that makes your yard, patio and deck, garage, and outbuildings look cluttered. Now it’s time to turn your eye toward how your outdoor spaces will look during showings:
The Garage. Garages can be a challenge because it’s not easy to make lawn equipment, miscellaneous tools, and kids’ toys look nice. The key to the garage is organization. Invest in trays, bins, shelving, and anything else that will organize the space. Stow similar objects together. Hang items on wall hooks when possible. And above all, make certain there isn’t an overload of equipment to begin with, even if you need to store larger items at a storage unit or friend’s house. If you have a shed or outbuilding for outdoor equipment, take the same approach as with the garage.
The Patio and Deck. Pressure wash any bricks, pavers, and outdoor furniture that is looking dingy. Make sure areas aren’t too cluttered with furniture, planters, and flowerpots. Less is more. Sweep patios free of debris. If the deck is in bad shape, consider repainting or resealing it.
The Exterior. You want your home to look well-tended, so start by refreshing peeling paint and trim and making sure all exterior hardware, such as house numbers and door latches, are in good shape. Replace any missing shingles and consider having your chimney cleaned and its bricks repainted if it’s been a while. If your vinyl siding is dirty, clean it. Make sure all windows are washed and sparkling. Clean gutters and drain spouts.
The Yard. Start by assessing your driveway, sidewalks, and walkways. Do they need repairs? Are bricks or pavers chipped or cracked? Fix anything that is in poor condition. Stow trash cans in the garage and coil hoses neatly. Inspect fences for disrepair and if necessary, pressure wash them to clean them up. Now turn your attention to the landscaping. You’ll need to mow and weed the lawn regularly if it is summertime, and keep on top of leaf removal in the fall and snow removal in the winter. Nothing should be overgrown or blocking a nice view of the house from the street. It doesn’t take much effort to beautify your yard with hanging baskets or planters of colorful flowers; just don’t go overboard. And for the most bang for your buck, replace old mulch to keep borders and flower beds looking fresh.
Voila! It may have taken some elbow grease, but if you’re followed these step-by-step guidelines, the exterior of your home is going to sparkle with curb appeal. Now it’s time to stand back and prepare for your first showing.
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