Your Home’s Impression

    Curb Appeal

    Most buyers form their first impression of your home before they even get out of the car. Curb appeal is the view from the curb that gives potential buyers the first chance to fall in love with your home.

    The exterior of your home should be in pristine condition-clean, cleared of clutter, with no visible repairs needed. A broken step, overgrown bush, or abandoned toys in the yard can spoil both the home’s appearance and the potential buyer’s first impression.

    Here’s a simple cleanup and spruce up checklist to make sure your home leaves a stellar first impression:

    • Clear driveways and walkways of weeds, and debris. Repair or replace cracked steps or pavers. Whenever possible, driveways should be clear of vehicles.

    • Keep your lawn mowed, edged, and watered. Prune dead branches and plants. Weed flowerbeds and replace leggy, thin landscaping with fresh plants and flowers.

    • Replace loose or damaged roof shingles, clean the gutters, paint and caulk the window and door trim when possible.

    • Make the front door area shine: consider repainting your front door and placing a new welcome mat. Polish the door hardware and make sure all front facing windows are clean.

    • Power wash siding, brick, windows, and porches.

    • Replace light fixtures – and if possible, pick new fixtures with the same mounting system to save time and hassle.

    • Install new house numbers that match the finish of your fixtures.

    • Consider upgrading your mailbox; it’s an inexpensive fix and the first thing buyers will see when they pull up to your home.

    • Install flowerboxes or pots of blooming flowers for a pop of color.  Hang a seasonal wreath from your front door.

    Staging Your Home

    When you list your home for sale, it becomes a product rather than your personal retreat. You want potential homebuyers to be able to envision themselves living in the home, which can be difficult if your family’s personality is still evident. Before going on t

    he market, we recommend decluttering and depersonalizing, but in some cases,  we will bringing in a professional stager to help guide you through showing your home in its most marketable light.

    When done correctly, staging can not only set the right emotional tone for buyers about the home but can also highlight the most attractive features of the home. Staging can potentially make you money too. 77% of listing agents reported that a well-staged environment increases the dollar value buyers are willing to offer, according to the National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Staging. Staging can also shorten the length of time your home is on the market.

    A professional stager will typically begin with an in-home consultation, where they will walk through your home with you, review the property, and provide a report with their advice for the home. The report will include advice on decluttering, storing items, reorganizing furniture placement, and possibly changing out paint colors in some rooms. The stager may also give tips for improving curb appeal. The most common rooms that are staged are the living room, kitchen, master bedroom, and dining room.

    Depending on what your home needs, and whether you want to do the work yourself or hire it done, your stager could handle bringing in supplementary furniture and décor items, manage painting or other contractors coming into your home, and have a more hands on role in getting your home ready to go on the market. The cost of services provided will vary depending how much assistance your home will need. 

    Once your home goes on the market, real estate agents may want to show your home anytime, even if you’ve listed preferred showing times in the instructions. Keeping your home in showtime condition can be challenging, especially if you have children and pets. Here are some pointers for presenting your home in the best light

    Showings & Open House Checklist

    • Eliminate clutter: The less cluttered your home, the better it shows. If you have a lot of knick-knacks, collections, or family mementos, consider renting a portable storage unit, which can be stored until it’s time to deliver it to your new home.

    • Keep, donate, throw away: If you have time before you go on the market, sort unwanted belongings into one of these three baskets. You’ll receive more in tax benefits for your donations than pennies on the dollar at a garage sale. It’s faster, more efficient and you’ll help more people.

    • Remove temptations: Take valuable jewelry and collectibles to a safety deposit box, a safe, or store them in a secure location. Also secure your firearms, prescription medicine and private financial documents.

    • Remove breakables: Figurines, china, crystal and other breakables should be packed and put away in the garage or storage.

    • Be hospitable: You want your home to look like a home. Open the blinds, turn on the lights, and make visitors feel welcomed.

    • Have a family plan of action: When a showing happens at an inconvenient time, get the family engaged. Everyone can pitch in to tidy up in a hurry: pick up glasses, plates, clothing, and anything else left lying about. Get in the habit: Wash dishes immediately after meals. Clean off countertops. Make beds in the morning. Keep pet toys and beds washed and smelling fresh.

     

    The Essential Five-minute Clean-up for Showings

    Everyone gets a basket and cleans up clutter. Check for hazards, like toys left on the floor. Make sure all toys, including bicycles, are put away. Put pets in daycare, sleep cages or take them with you: In the listing instructions, there should be a warning if there is a big dog on premises. Buyers with allergies also may appreciate knowing in advance if you have pets. Turn on lights: Open the drapes, turn on lights so buyers can really see. Give the buyer privacy: The buyer cannot come to your home without being accompanied by an agent. They will be more comfortable touring the home without your presence.