Getting Your Home Ready
The Exterior of the House
Most real estate agents advice tells you to work on the outside of the house first, but unless there is a major project, we believe it is best to do it last. There are two main reasons for this. The first steps in preparing the interior of the home are easier. They also help develop the proper mindset required for selling - beginning to think of your "home" as a marketable commodity. Second, the exterior is the most important. A homebuyer's first impression is based on his or her first view of the home from the outside. So take a walk across the street and take a real good look at your house. Look at nearby houses, too, and see how yours compares to theirs.
Is your landscaping at least average for the neighborhood? If it is not, buy a few small plants & bushes. Do not plant mature trees. Mature trees are expensive, and you will not recoop your investment. If you have room, buy colorful flowers and plant them. They add vibrancy and color, creating a favorable first impression. Do not buy bulbs or seeds. They take to long to grow enough to create the desired effect you want and you certainly don't want a patch of brown earth for homebuyers to view.
Your lawn should be evenly cut, well maintained, and free of brown spots. If there are any problems with your lawn, you should take care of them before working on the inside of your home. Certain areas may need to be reseeded, plus, you will want to give fertilizer enough time to be effective.
NOTE: Always rake up loose leaves, grass cuttings and any debris.
The big decision is whether to paint or not paint. When you look at your home from across the street, does it look old and faded? If so, a paint job may be in order. It is usually a good investment and really spruces up the appearance of your home, adding dollars to offers from potential homebuyers.
When choosing a color, it should not be something bright and unusual, but a color that fits well in your neighborhood. Of course, the color also depends on the style of your house. Different shades of yellow seem to elicit the best response in homebuyers, whether it is in the trim or the basic color of the house.
If you know your roof has really old shingles and leaks you should replace it. If you do not replace a leaky roof, you must disclose it on the Seller's Disclosure form.
The Back Yard
The back yard should be neat. If you have a pool, keep it maintained and clean. For those that have pets that use the back yard, be sure to constantly keep the area clear of "debris." If you have anything in the back yard, that is old and not in use should be removes. You want your back yard to appear as spacious as possible, especially in newer homes where the lot might not be as large anyway.