How To Improve Your Home’s

Curb Appeal

Michael Healy Decorative Doorbell

Michael Healy Decorative Doorbell

When people have lived in their house for a while, they tend to overlook its cosmetic flaws. They might no longer notice chips in the exterior paint, the overgrown shrubs in the garden or Christmas lights still hanging from the eaves.

Most homeowners, when they’ve lived in their house a number of years, don’t see what a new eye would see, she said. They can’t see the little things. Those little things can make or break a home’s curb appeal, which is vital when selling a home. Picky potential buyers make up their minds within the first 10 seconds of seeing a home’s exterior whether they want to see what’s inside.

That is important to note because Web savvy buyers are using the Internet to research houses for sale. They’re looking at online pictures of homes and driving by properties they might interested in. Staging can help home sellers get top dollar for their property. A professional stager will go through every room in the home, as well as the rear and front yards. Stagers note that the way people live in their home and the way a home is presented when it’s on the market are two different things. While the homeowners’ collection of porcelain dolls might look good to them, buyers might consider it clutter.

I don’t recommend people go out and spend a lot of money on staging props. I prefer to use items sellers already have. If more accessories are needed, such as plants, she works within the seller’s budget. She has spent as little as $50 to $100 to successfully stage a home. We got interested in home staging when we sold our first house, a 1,400-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath cottage style house in the Pocono Mountain area of Pennsylvania. Before putting the house on the market, the property got a makeover. Ripping out aging, unattractive shrubs and replaced them with newer ones. Also adding more vibrant, colorful flowers.

Next, repainting the house’s exterior in pastels to enhance its cottage style design. They painted the front door dark green to make it stand out and added a kickplate and new hardware for extra flair.

That house sold for above asking price the same day it went on the market. The house was listed for three hours before a buyer made an offer.

To gauge your home’s curb appeal, start by looking at it while standing across the street. What do you notice?

What is your eye drawn to? For those who can no longer “see” what their house really looks like, they might enlist someone who can, whether it’s a professional or a trusted friend. Next, take stock of the different parts and area of the exterior.

Are the shrubs and lawn overgrown? If so, trim back the shrubs and mow the lawn. Get rid of plants that look as if they’re on their last leg. This would be a good time to remove plants damaged during January’s cold snap. Get rid of

any unsightly weeds. Those about to put their home on the market might consider hiring a gardener or landscaper to maintain the yard if they don’t have the time to keep it consistently tidy. Add color. Evergreen landscapes are fine,but adding a little color can go a long way. Add some colorful annuals to the beds.

Dress up a worn front door with a fresh coat of paint and/or new hardware, such as a

decorative handle, kickplate or knocker.

Is your welcome mat more worn than welcoming? If so, replace it.

If space allows, add containers with plants of varying height (something tall with something that cascades over the sides).

Get a new address plate or find fancier numbers to use for your address.

Atlas House Numbers

If space allows, add a small bench or other seating on the porch or inside the doorway so guests have a place to sit.

Jazz up a plain door with a wreath. An already ornate door can be left alone if its design is striking. Give the exterior a good cleaning with a pressure washer. Wash the windows. Declutter. If you have too many accessories, pots, flags or other doodads in front of the house, pare it down. Less is more.

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