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About three quarters of homebuyers search for homes on Multiple Listing Services (MLS) and other real estate marketplaces like Zillow. Many homes on these platforms feature 360-degree videos of the homes’ interior and exterior, and most have photos of the front of the home. Many potential buyers will do a drive-by of your home to see if they are interested in making an appointment to view your property. This means that you have just a few seconds to capture their interest. If you’re selling your home, it is in your best interest to pay attention to how the front of your house looks.
In part one of this two-part series, the All Jersey Moving and Storage team explores the power of curb appeal (and shares practical tips, of course!). Simply, when a home has “curb appeal” it means that its exterior and property is attractive enough that potential buyers will want to make an appointment to see more. If expensive landscaping and redesign isn’t in your budget, there are still many practical steps you can take to improve your home’s curb appeal, from a good clean-up to simple fix-ups and rearranging ideas. Here are a few important things to consider:
Pay Attention to the Details. It’s amazing how small, simple details can impact the impression your home makes on potential buyers. Simple things like straightening a tilted mail box, clearing away cobwebs or cleaning your outdoor lighting fixtures can improve the overall appearance of your home’s exterior, and make it more attractive to prospective buyers. There are plenty of things you can do at no cost at all that will make your home look better cared for and more aesthetically pleasing.
Dispose of Ugly Outdoor Furniture. Prospective buyers want to be able to envision themselves living in your home. Ugly furniture – indoors or outdoors – makes it difficult for buyers to see your home’s potential. And besides – do you really want to take unsightly outdoor furniture with you to your new home? If you’re going to get rid of it anyway, do so while your home is on the market.
Clear Your Yard of Trash and Junk. If there is any trash or junk on your property, be sure to clear it out before putting your house on the market. This includes bulky, broken or unsightly items you’ve moved out of your home because you no longer want or need them. Regularly scan your property for trash – pizza boxes, cans and wrappers – that may have blown onto your property. It’s also a good idea to store your garbage cans out of sight (in your garage or to the size of your home). Try to put your trash cans away right after garbage has been picked up, rather than leaving them to sit for days at the edge of your driveway.
Declutter. Never underestimate the power of decluttering. When a prospective buyer looks at your home, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to imagine living there. The less cluttered your home’s exterior is, the easier it will be for them to do so. People often associate clutter with items that accumulate inside the home, but home exteriors are often cluttered as well with outdoor furniture, children’s toys and bikes, broken items that need to be discarded, spillover from the garage and other miscellaneous items. The more you can clear out, the more your property will be able to shine.
Plant Flowers. Flowers in bloom make your home look like an inviting oasis. If you’re moving in the spring or summer, consider planting flowers in your flower beds. (If you aren’t planning to sell until next year, fill your yard with seasonal bulbs like daffodils or tulips! That way, you won’t have to worry about planting next spring). Alternatively, if you aren’t a gardener or are pressed for time, you can buy hanging plants or beautiful planters from your local garden center to set on either side of your front door, on your front steps or in front of your garage. If you do happen to have a green thumb and have a beautiful garden, and are selling “off season” in the fall or winter, be sure to have pictures of what your garden looks like in all its glory in the spring and summer.
Mulch Matters. Mulch is to a garden what a coat of fresh paint is to an old, worn house. After you have cleaned out your shrub or flowerbeds, pile on some fresh mulch. It will not only give your garden a fresher, better cared for appearance and covers a variety of problems, but it also smells good! It’s also fairly inexpensive.
Care for Your Grass. Healthy, green grass not only enhances the general appearance of your property’s exterior, it also makes your property look well cared. Follow simple tips to fix dead patches and bare spots on your lawn. Also, be sure to water your lawn and mow it weekly while your home is on the market (or pay professional landscapers to do so). You never know when a potential buyer will do a drive by and you don’t want to make a poor impression with overgrown grass or brown patches.
Be Mindful of Lawn Care. It’s important to keep your shrubbery trimmed, especially around the entrance. If you aren’t a gardener, consider paying one to edge your lawn, as a crisp edge on a lawn creates a nice visual impact.
Consider Parking in the Street. If street parking is permitted where you live, you may want to consider parking in the street while your home is listed. When potential buyers are driving by, you don’t want their view of your home to be obscured by your car – especially if you drive a large vehicle like an SUV, minivan or truck. Filling your driveway and/or garage with a car or multiple cars can also make these areas appear smaller rather than more spacious.
Consider Blacktopping Your Driveway. If your driveway is old and in rough shape, you may want to consider repaving it to increase your home’s perceived value. If repaving isn’t in the budget, at the very least try to get some driveway cleaner, work on any oil spots, and fill in large cracks.
Sweep and Shovel. Selling your home in the fall? Be sure to sweep your driveway regularly, clearing it of leaves, twigs and debris. Selling in the winter? Make sure you shovel and sand your driveway and sidewalks, both for safety and accessibility, but also because snow can obstruct the view of your property.
Fill Cracks in the Sidewalk. Fill cracks in your sidewalks or walkways and pull sidewalk weeds or any grass that is growing in cracks.
Consider Power Washing. If your driveway or the sidewalk in front of your home look dirty or grimy, consider having them power washed. This will brighten your sidewalks and driveway, giving them a fresher, more attractive appearance.
Add a Little Charm. While a decluttered landscape is a “clean slate” that allows prospective buyers to envision your home as their own, it’s also nice to add a little character. For example, a beautiful birdfeeder or quiet wind chimes can be charming.
Use Outdoor Furniture to Provide a Lifestyle Snapshot. While you don’t want your landscape to be cluttered with furniture, strategically and carefully setting out garden or patio furniture to show the lifestyle possibilities of your home is important.
Remember the Rear View! While the front of your home is the focal point, serious prospective buyers will absolutely take note of your backyard as well. Trim any tree limbs that may be near or touching your roof. Keep the lawn and shrubs in your backyard mowed and trimmed. If you have a backyard garden, make sure its in great shape. If you have a pool, make sure it’s clean and/or properly covered. Clear your yard of junk, put away children’s toys and make sure your backyard furniture is presentable (otherwise dispose of it or store it away).
Give it a Fresh Coat of Paint. While painting an entire home is an expensive undertaking, painting just the front of your house can be relatively inexpensive. A fresh coat of paint to your front and garage doors can do wonders to improving your home’s curb appeal and sale value. If you can’t paint the front, consider painting just the trim.
Don’t Forget the Roof. If your roof is in terrible shape, replacing it may be worthwhile. But if it’s in passable condition, consider repairing or replacing loose shingles to improve the appearance of your property.
Focus on the Front Door. Your front door is the focal point of your home’s exterior as its very function is to draw people inward. Make sure the walkway to your front door is unobstructed. Paint your front door and polish any hardware. Frame your door with attractive planters or hanging plants. Wash your screen doors and repair any holes. (If they aren’t fixable, have them rescreened!). Replace your old, worn welcome mat with a new one (and put one by your backdoor entrance as well)! And make sure you have a working doorbell! These things can make – or break – potential buyers’ first impression of your home.
Clean Your Gutters. When potential buyers see gutters that aren’t properly attached or that are filled with debris, it gives the impression the property isn’t well cared for. Be sure that your gutters and downspouts are properly attached and well cleaned out.
Tend to Outdoor Lights. Ensure your outdoor lights are in working order. Replace any bulbs that are burned out, and either replace outdated or rusted fixtures or polish them to improve their appearance.
Don’t Forget Your Deck. If your deck requires it, consider staining and repainting. The payback in terms of home sale value often makes the price tag well worth it. Once your deck is in good condition, put out flowers and appropriate tables and chairs. And remember, a freshly hosed down deck always looks newer and cleaner, so consider hosing down the deck before listing appointments.
Fix Up Your Fences. Potential buyers will often use a broken fence as a negotiating tactic to decrease the price. If budget permits, replace any broken slats or gate latches and ensure your fences aren’t sagging. You can also give them a good washing down to get rid of dirt, grime or moss.
Homes with Curb Appeal Sell for More!
Clemson University recently conducted a study that showed that consumers value well landscaped homes at 11 percent over asking price, while a Gallup service showed landscaping can add 7 to 15 percent to a home's value. It goes without saying that when it comes to homes, buyers “judge a book buy its cover” and it pays to invest time, energy and even resources into improving your property’s curb appeal. Homes without much curb appeal often spend much longer on the market.
All Jersey Moving and Storage – Your Trusted New Jersey Moving Company
All of the practical “curb appeal” tips our moving team shared take time, effort and some investment, but these efforts will be well worth it. With enhanced curb appeal, you will be able to command a higher price for your home.
Once your home has sold, All Jersey Moving and Storage is here to take care of all your moving needs from start to finish. While packing up an entire home and relocating might seem overwhelming, partnering with the right moving company can make that process simple, stress-free and very manageable. As New Jersey’s top movers and as the recipients of numerous awards in the moving industry, All Jersey Moving & Storage is your number one choice for the job.
With decades of experience with all kinds of moves, All Jersey Moving & Storage will handle your local, long-distance, residential or commercial move from A to Z.
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All Jersey Moving & Storage is truly your one stop shop for all your moving needs. Not only do we offer every service you will need for a smooth and efficient move, we do it all with expertise, professionalism and courtesy. Just listen to what our numerous satisfied customers have to say about us and when you’re ready, give us a call for your complimentary, no-obligation consultation! We’re here to make sure that buying or selling your home was the hard part; moving with us will be easy, simple and stress-free - guaranteed!
Stay tuned for the second part of “The Power of Curb Appeal and Home Staging” series, where our movers will share practical tips for home staging your property to increase potential sale value!