Create a Good First Impression
Now that you have decided to sell your home, it is time to take a good look at your property and see what needs to be done to make the best impression on prospective purchasers.
Often, people looking for a home will drive around neighbourhoods they think they would like to live in to see what kinds of houses are for sale. It pays to make your home as appealing as possible - give it "curb appeal" - to attract prospective purchasers once they notice the "for sale" sign on your property.
Once you sign a listing agreement, your REALTOR will undoubtedly give you tips to help make that first impression really count. Here are a few from us that you could start with even before you sign a listing agreement.
- Keep your lawns neatly trimmed and edged during the spring, summer and fall. The driveway and paths should be kept clear of snow and ice in the winter and free of leaves, mud and litter at other times of the year.
- Trim trees and shrubs to get rid of overhanging branches that might obscure a potentially good view of your home, or the pathways leading to the front door.
- Turn over the soil in your flower beds. If there is little colour in your front garden, make a splash with a display of inexpensive annuals. Flower boxes, wooden tubs and clay and plastic pots can also be filled with flowers and small shrubs and displayed in the yard or by the front entrance. Even if you plan to take the containers with you when you move, they will give prospective buyers an idea of your home and garden's potential.
- Bird houses and feeders, dried-flower wreaths and hanging baskets on the front porch can give your home "country" curb appeal.
- Keep your porch, driveways and front yard clutter-free. Remove garbage and recycling bins as soon as possible after pickup, and avoid any build-up of junk mail in your mail box.
- Try to keep the driveway free of tricycles, bicycles and children's toys. If the driveway is badly damaged, doing a few repairs would be of benefit.
- Repair or replace broken steps or walkways. You might be used to the uneven paving or rickety stairs outside your home, but they are unsightly and could be hazardous to visitors.
- Your home's roof, chimney and exterior should look sound and well-cared-for. Freshly painted woodwork is often well worth the time and money invested in it.
- If painting is unnecessary, you home will still benefit from a good spruce-up. Wash down window frames and clean your windows to make them sparkle. Scrub the front door and polish the house numbers, mailbox, door knob and knocker.
- Open blinds and curtains or shutters to give your home an inviting, welcoming look. In winter months, keep inside and outside lights on and during the rest of the year turn on interior and porch lights at dusk.
As your REALTOR for tips and suggestions on how to make the most of your home's curb appeal. He or she can offer an objective view of any repairs and improvements that might be necessary or desirable.
REALTOR is a registered trademark of the Canadian Real Estate Association and identifies a real estate practitioner who is a member of the Association.