We are renovating our house--ugh! (more about that in another post)-- and I am taking a course towards a double certification as an Interior Staging and Redesign Professional™ so I've been doing a lot of reading and dabbling into a world extremely unfamiliar to me. In my career as a real estate agent I've helped sellers tweak their living spaces, rearrange furniture, remove clutter, paint walls etc and I know when something looks right...but I don't really know WHY. That lead to me, with my eternal thirst for knowledge, to not just learn about the WHY's of design, but since I am also reward based, to acquire a designation and certificate for my wall.
The topic currently on the table is curb appeal and some of the information I learned I shared in a previous post. What I want to share with you today is a very objective method for spotting problem areas that affect the curb appeal of your home. As you know when you live in a home after awhile your eyes stop seeing the deficiencies and it's only when you have company coming over that you begin to see your home through someone else's eyes. Am I right? When I have guests coming over suddenly I notice the paint chips in the wall, the marks on the carpet, and the clutter in the corner--and that's only on the inside! What about the cracked driveway, the dying plants (I'm horrible at remembering to water them!), and the rotten fascia boards? Do you see those? Your guests might not because they're thinking about whatever wonderful dinner you're serving them, but I can guarantee you that a potential buyer is going to see them. And not only will he see them, they will settle in his mind as part of his first impression. And, as you know, you never get a second chance to make a first impression!
So what can you do, especially given that you're so familiar with the home that you're likely overlooking things? The answer--get a camera. Go outside and take a ton of pictures of your home from every angle. Go across the street and snap a shot of the house in it's entirety. Walk around the side and the back of the home and take photos. Close ups, wide shots, different angles. It's amazing how much you'll see as you begin to look with different, more objective, eyes. But that's just the start. Take those photos and load them up on your computer and then enlarge sections of it. See those cracks in the stucco? See that slant in the walkway? Notice how much moss is on the top of the roof? See how that fascia board is rotting on the end? Ugh, what about those weeds in the cracks of the driveway? Had you noticed those before? Thanks to this exercise you now have an idea of some of the little fixes you need to make to ensure that your home looks perfect.
One more thing. That kiddie pool and swing set. Looks okay to you, right? How does it look in the photo? Junky? Yep, it does. If it absolutely must stay, make sure the swing set is clean, has all it's parts, and if possible has a fresh coat of paint applied to the chipped parts. Seems a bit excessive, no? Yes, it does. Buyers will chose to view or drive by your home based on a picture. It's not entirely fair but that's life. If your exterior picture looks cluttered with either unsightly yard furniture, broken swing sets and kiddie pools, rusted trampolines, or overgrown foliage then a potential buyer will likely pass it by and go on to the next listing--the one with the groomed yard, clean roof, and weed free driveway.
After you've identified the issues, go ahead and make the necessary repairs. Hire a handyman if you need to. It may cost you a bit of money but you'll get that back in the end when you sell--in less time and at a higher price!
If you have any questions, please feel free to comment in the box below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll do my best to get you answers.
Take care of yourself and have a lovely weekend!