Easy Tricks for Getting Buyers to Stop at Your Front Door
Honey, Pull Over!
By Veronika Lazabal
Few sellers realize the importance of curb appeal. An attractive front door is key to getting buyers through the door, and making offers on your house. Here are a few low cost tips for getting your home's exterior ready to welcome all those offers.
First: Stop thinking of it as "home". It's hard to separate emotional attachment to a house, even when trying to sell it. Remember, it's not home anymore; it's a commodity that you want to sell for the highest possible return. So step across the street and look at your house not as a homeowner, but as a house hunter.
Start structurally. Are there any obvious cracks in the driveway or on the house itself? Are there missing roof shingles? Are the window screens torn or missing? Is the fence falling apart? Potential home buyers are going to see these as major repairs- and deduct major dollars from their offer.
Next, think clean. Clear all the leaves out of the gutters. Wash the windows. Rent a power sprayer and get rid of all the stains and grime on the driveway. Check the eaves for spider webs or bees nests. Remember, not all buyers have children, so don't put off certain people by having swings, tricycles and toys all over the lawn. Clear the porch of any clutter, as well. Old newspapers should get thrown away. Cleaning products and hoses shouldn't be piled up by the door. A simple storage bench can help you keep shoes or garden implements stored neatly- and out of sight.
Now you're ready to tackle the aesthetics. Start with the lawn. A low cost vitamin spray will truly make the grass greener. Trim back any bushes or trees that may be obstructing the view of the house. Remember, buyers want to see what they may be moving into. Pull up any weeds in planting beds or in the grass. Also, any growth coming up between cracks in the sidewalk or driveway should be sprayed with weed-killer. Purchase a few colorful flowers and plant them. The cost to you will be minimal, but a few spots of color in a planting bed or under a window will make the house seem more cheerful to those who come to take a look. You may love your lawn jockey or those retro chic pink flamingoes, but will everyone? Keep in mind, you are trying to make your house appealing to as many people as possible, so any taste specific decorations have got to go.
Finally, don't neglect the door itself. A fresh coat of paint or stain and a new handle can really freshen up an old entryway. If your door is really old or showing major signs of wear, you might consider investing in a new one. After all, this is the first impression of the house that buyers will see. You want to make it as appealing as possible.
With a little effort, and not much investment, you can increase your home's value by thousands of dollars- just start from the outside in!