How To Sell Your Home: The Exterior

All stagers and real estate professionals talk about the “curb appeal” of homes. If you want the potential buyer to look inside your home, the exterior must say, “Welcome, please…come in”.

The truth is, curb appeal has never been more important, because in 2014, a potential buyer is going to start his search on the internet, long before he drives by the actual property. A full 90% of home buyers today use the Internet to search for home, up from the 90′s when online search by buyers was still in the single digits.

Add a drive-by look to that online look at your home, and you see how important it is to keep the exterior in top condition if you want to attract the buyer.

Google and The National Association of Realtors undertook a study in 2012 called “The Digital House Hunt: Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate”, profiling home buyers and sellers use of the internet in conducting real estate searches. Some astounding figures that everyone in the business of  buying or selling a home should be aware of are here;

  • online searches on google rose 253% over the past 4 years,
  • 90% of house hunters searched online with 52% making it their first step in the process
  • those who searched performed an average of 11 searches prior to taking an action
  • new home buyers are interested in virtual tours and videos showcasing properties
  • buyers searched for homes an average of 3 weeks before contacting an agent and 40% of new home buyers did not contact an agent for 120 after the start of a search

So, if you’re selling you home, potential buyers can see your home 24/7 on the web in addition to the physical drive-by of the property.  With all that exposure, it makes sense to leave nothing to chance when it comes to the exterior of your home.

While this list is not exhaustive, these are the top 17 places to put your attention.

1. Start down at the bottom of the driveway. Clean the salt, sand and any other debris from the   driveway and curb. Hook up the hose and clean the entire driveway. If the asphalt needs repair, schedule it soon, because the temperature has to be high enough for repairs to be done.
2. Check your walkways for heaving stones and cracks. Don’t overlook these hazards and repair.
3. Pick up all winter debris from lawns and garden beds. Rake and mulch if the ground permits.
4. Walk around the perimeter of your house and check for loose siding, water damage to window  frames and loose roof shingles.
5. Check to see if house requires a power washing, minor paint touch-up or a full repainting.
6. If you have a porch, sweep and clean or blow away debris.

7. Your front door says it all. If it needs a repainting after a brutal winter, pick out the color and wait for the weather to be mild enough to paint.
8. Front door hardware-is it broken, aged or outdated? Do not give it a second thought if any of these things apply.  Choose a modern rubbed bronze or satin silver door handle, lockset and door knocker that coordinates with the paint color.
9. Mailboxes: if yours is in the front door, make certain it is secure and in good condition. If it is a stand-up mailbox at the road, make sure it’s standing straight and looks sturdy. If not, replace.
10. Porch lights and property lanterns:  take them apart and clear out debris and clean all glass panes. Check that the bulbs in all the fixtures are working.

13. Do a gutter and drain clean out.
14. After the outside cleaning and painting work is done, clean windows inside and out.
15. Add spring flowers in beds by the curb, sides or walkways where people notice them, and in pots where appropriate on your porch.
16. Your garage door should be assessed for cleaning and painting, and make sure the garage interior gets some attention too.  All your winter shovels, sleds and salt should be organized and the interior swept.
17. If you have a backyard pool and recreation area, arrange your outdoor furniture after it is cleaned, and set up other outdoor equipment like barbeques and umbrella stands. If you are selling before you pool officially opens, take off the pool cover and begin the cleaning as soon as possible.
If you would like help creating a home you love or if you want to sell your house for the highest price in the shortest time, please call us for a consultation and we'll get started!

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