You only get one chance to make a first impression
Creating good curb appeal has never been more important than in the current real estate market. Buyers have many choices since there are many homes on the market and sellers are competing with bargain foreclosures and bank owned properties. Here are a few tips to help you spruce up the curb appeal of your house and make it stand out from the competition.
View from the Street – Make sure the grass is cut and bushes are trimmed and all of the kid’s toys are put away and not laying around the yard. It would also be a good idea to put some of the lawn gnomes in storage. It is best to have a crisp look and minimal lawn ornaments
Sidewalks & Driveway – Make sure that the sidewalks and driveway are clean and there are no weeds growing in the cracks. A container of Roundup can help with this, simply spray the grass or weeds that are growing in the cracks and it will be dead and gone in just a few days. The nice thing about using Roundup in the crack is that it will help prevent more weeds from growing. Usually two applications will address the issue for the entire summer.
Lawn – The grass should be kept cut and if there are weeds popping up you can always spot spray them with weed killer. The grass around the walks and drive should be neatly edged, so it isn’t growing over the cement.
Porch – A couple of chairs on the porch and maybe a small table so there is a place to set your iced tea. Just make sure there is enough room to move around on the porch.
Front Door – the door should be clean and if the paint is faded or chipped it would be well worth the effort to give the door (and trim) a fresh coat of paint. As potential buyers are standing in front of the door waiting for their agent to unlock it they will look around and if they see evidence of a lack of maintenance they will automatically assume that the rest of the house is not properly cared for either.
Windows – The windows should be clean, again to show that the home is well cared for and it will also allow plenty of light in.
Gutters & Roof – If there is debris (sticks, leaves, weeds) visible in the gutters or on the roof when you are standing in the yard be sure to clean them out. Take a look out any second floor windows and if you can see in any gutters or on the roof you will want to make sure that these areas are kept clean.
Bonus Tips – Exterior Photos
Since the initial impression buyers have often comes from the main exterior photo on the listing in the MLS there are some dos and don’ts for the photo.
|Leave the garage door open||Make sure the yard is orderly|
|Take a photo with the pet in the yard||Remove all cars from the driveway|
|Shoot the photo through traffic||Get the entire front of the house in the photo|
|Take a photo with the trash at the curb||Get a couple of shots up close to the entry|
|Get the neighbor’s kids in the photo||Pick the most inviting photo for the MLS|
I hope these tip help you when preparing to sell your house. These tips come from observations of thousands of homes that I have shown and seen in the MLS. Most of these tips will cost nothing to implement and could make a huge impact in the number of showings your house draws. As I’m sure you already know the more showings the more potential for offers. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavor to sell your house. If you are in the Metro Detroit area I would be more than happy to help you get your house sold for the highest price the market will bear.
Realtor, ABR, SRES
Coldwell Banker Preferred, Realtors
44644 Ann Arbor Road
Plymouth, MI 48170
There is no doubt, a Kitchen can make or break the sale of a home. No matter how well the rest of the home looks, if the kitchen is not properly prepared for showings buyers will pass up the home with the poorly prepared kitchen. Here are a few tips for preparing your kitchen for showings.
- Declutter – This is the first rule of staging any room, but it is more important in the kitchen than in any othe rpart of the home. Be sure to show every square inch of counter space to potential buyers. Put away small appliances, utensil holders, cook books and anything else that is on the countertop.
- Clean – Clean your kitchen like the sale of your house depends on it (’cause it does) Nothing else will turn off a buyer faster than a dirty kitchen.
- Refigerator – Many stagers will tell you to take every magnet, calendar and artwork off of your refigerator. This is good advice, but I think one or two magnets will hurt much. But be sure to wipe out the inside of the refigerator because many buyers will peek inside (especially if it stays with the house).
- Cabinets – Wipe them down inside and out. If the hardware is outdated it may help to dress up the kitchen if you replace the hardware.
- Lighing - Turn on the lights and make sure the fixtures are clean. Clean the windows and open the curtains/blinds to let in sunlight.
Finally, once the kitchen is spotless you can make a couple of final touches. Place some fresh cut flowers in a vase on the table. Another nice touch is a bowl of fruit on the counter (unless the counter is very small). Be sure to check out the article titled “Good Smelling Equals More Selling” for some tips on getting the proper aroma in your house for showings.
Reminiscing about how much I loved coming home from school to the scent of Mom’s baking, I wanted to give my kids the same experience. I timed it so the chocolate chip cookies would be warm and ready to eat when they walked in the door. While smelling the cookies as they baked, I was reminded of when my husband and I were in the market to buy a home five years ago. Some homes had no scent at all, some smelled nice, and some had very unpleasant scents. The funny thing is it’s the homes with the very nice or very bad scents that we remember most. One homeowner was at home cooking while we were viewing her house. She probably loved the scent of her dish, but it was hard for us to take. While it shortened our visit there, I still remember that house very well years later. Everything about it was nice, except the smell.
Looking back, I realize that scents have a powerful effect on our experiences and on the decisions we make. Even if the home had great curb appeal and was nice on the inside, we walked away because it had unpleasant smells. Sometimes we don’t realize that the unpleasant scents exist because we’re so used to them. These scents could be from various things like cooking herbs and seasonings, pets, garbage cans, musty pipes, even diaper genies which aren’t perfect. I remember getting a call from the realtor who wanted to bring a potential buyer over within twenty minutes to view the home. I scrambled to get my infant triplets’ diapers changed and get out of the house in time for their arrival. I was so worried that the scent of dirty diapers would linger in their bedroom while the guests were viewing it. If only I had known about Scentsy wickless warmers then. I would have had one in my kitchen and one in the nursery. I would have left the house stress-free and felt confident that the potential buyers would stay longer, want to come back, and maybe even make an offer.
You certainly shouldn’t light a scented candle and leave your home. Thankfully, there’s a safer alternative. Scentsy makes a ceramic warmer that melts scented wax by the heat of a small light bulb. There’s no wick, so they are safe unattended even if left on for hours and forgotten. They come in many different styles and are attractive to look at. Scentsy has basic scents that are generally pleasing to everyone like sugar cookie and clean, laundry scents. Everyone oohs and ahhhs over the sugar cookie scent and asks where the bakery is when I’m at a craft show. I’ve learned to set out a small plate of sugar cookies near the warmer since their mouths are watering from the scent. If you turn it on about 30 – 60 minutes before an open house or scheduled appointment, it would be in full effect. Your guests will remember the house – positively!
To see the warmers and smell the over 80 sample scents, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 734-956-0747 to schedule an appointment. My website is http://www.safeindoorscents.scentsy.us where you can view the many warmers – plug-in, medium, and full-sized. Orders can be placed online.
Certified Scentsy Consultant