Straight Talk: Curb Appeal, Honey-Do's, and Clutter

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First Impressions

You only have one chance to make a first impression, so let's make it a great one! The first thing potential buyers notice when they drive up to your home is the curb appeal. Even though buyers will form an opinion of your home when they first walk in, they can develop a positive feeling about your home from the moment they drive up. Be sure your home wows at first sight.

  • Give your trim, fence, and shutters a fresh coat of paint
  • Put up new house numbers and a shiny new mailbox
  • Be sure your lawn is manicured and your flowerbeds are weeded

These updates may seem small or insignificant, but all together will help with the wow factor and catch the attention of potential buyers.

Honey Dos

Don't put off your honey do list anymore, be sure to complete all those items so the home buyers don't feel that your house is a long list of repairs and pass on making an offer. Go through your home room by room and make a list of what needs to be taken care of before your first open house. Here are some issues to look for when making your list:

  • Leaky faucets and toilets
  • Scuff marks on the walls that need to be washed off or touched up with paint
  • Bugs in any ceiling light fixtures
  • Burnt out light bulbs
  • Squeaky doors and cabinets
  • Stains on the carpet
  • Dusty vents and ceiling fans
  • Dusty baseboards and window sills

Even minor problems could make individuals who view your home reluctant to make an offer.

Make your kitchen sing

How many times have you heard, "The kitchen is the most important room in the house"? Keep that mantra in your head and make your kitchen shine. Here are some ideas that will have buyers admiring your kitchen:

  • Deep clean your kitchen, you want it looking spotless when buyers are walking through your home, this includes cleaning the inside of the oven, fridge, and microwave
  • Keep the counters clear; remove the toaster, blender, and anything else you may regularly keep out on your counters
  • Replace the hardware and faucet; this will give the kitchen an updated feel
  • Paint or stain the cabinets if they are looking warn and dated
  • Bleach any grout and re-caulk the kitchen sink

Most of these changes can be done in a day or two and will give your kitchen a fresh update to grab attention from potential buyers.

Little Things

Little things around the house can make a big difference on whether your house will shine or look dated. Check out these tips for quick and easy improvements that all together will make a positive impact to those viewing your home:

  • Clean all your windows and screens
  • Change out all your light bulbs to soft white lights
  • Swap out dated face plates and light switches
  • Change old faucets and hardware in the kitchen and bathroom

These changes won't cost much and will make a difference in the feel of your home. Walk through your home and take an inventory of what needs to be replaced in each room; this way you have a list to take to the hardware store and can make these updates in one easy trip.

Backyard Bliss

Make your backyard shine; you want your potential buyers to say wow when they walk through the back door. Having this area as an inviting space can create an extension to your house, making your home feel larger. Here are some tips to help highlight your backyard and make it a feature of the home:

  • Power wash the walls, fences, and any concrete patio
  • Trim all the bushes and trees, giving them a well-manicured look
  • If you have a pool, be sure it is sparkling on the morning of open house, skim the top right before you walk out the door
  • Pick up any toys or yard tools and put them away in storage
  • If the fence needs a new coat of paint because it looks worn, give it a quick coat to make it look fresh and clean

Freshen up the bathroom

Realtors say kitchens and bathrooms are what sell a house. With that in mind, give your bathroom some extra attention, making it stand out to buyers. Here are some tips that will have your bathrooms ready for open house:

  • Remove everything from the counter tops; you don't want your personal toiletries out for all to see
  • Do a deep cleaning of the whole bathroom and redo any caulking you may have
  • Replace the faucet and hardware on the cabinets if they are dated
  • Replace the shower liner or curtain and any rugs if they look worn or old

These low cost tips can help make the bathroom feel fresh and inviting to the buyers who are viewing your house.

Clear the Clutter

Buyers want to see how big your cabinets, closets, garage, and shed are, so you can expect them to open up those spaces and take a look. These spaces may all be large but can seem small if they are full and cluttered.

  • Go through these spaces and create donate, keep, and toss piles
  • The items you're keeping, if you can live without them between now and the time you sell, put them in storage
  • Install closet organizers to help the space look organized
  • Give closets a fresh coat of paint and cabinets new shelf liner

The better organized your storage spaces are, the larger they will appear to home buyers.

The Open House

It's time for your open house, now what? This is your time to show off your house and create a warm and welcoming environment when buyers walk through your front door. Your home is clean, updated, and de-cluttered, so what can you do now to go the extra mile and give it extra appeal?

  • Bake some fresh cookies or brownies to have your home smelling amazing right when buyers walk into your home
  • Have fresh flowers out in the kitchen and bathrooms
  • Keep any pets outside or at a family member's home
  • Have soft music playing in the background
Do you have a real estate question? Fill out the form below and ask Marc.