Homeowners, from getting back to the basics to getting on with the show, this is your one-stop checklist for whistle-worthy curb appeal. What's the one thing everyone does when they want to wow someone? They clean up, get spruced up, and turn on the smile. Your home can do the same to wow and woo buyers to stop in. Check out and check off these tips to make your home hard for buyers to resist.
Akin to spring cleaning, detailed deep cleaning and attention to detail makes for a lasting impact. A curb-clean home hints and beckons to more of the same inside, a well-maintained property demonstrating pride of ownership. We know to stay on top of regular maintenance, but over the years we can become complacent about little things that will glare at potential buyers and real estate agents showing your home. Begin by first tidying straightaway to awaken your home's wow factor and determine any necessary repairs. As you clear clutter, look for and note any maintenance that needs attention once clean-up is completed.
- Clear the roof, gutters and downspouts. If your home has heated roofing elements, hire a licensed professional to clear and adjust the gutters and downspouts to maintain their safe, effective operation.
- Clear yard trash like stray litter, rocks, fallen branches and sticks.
- Rake and bag leaves or spread them around shrubs. Cover this later with fresh, decorative mulch to beautify.
- Edge fence lines, walkways and curbs. Remove trimmings. Does the fence need mending?
- Prune and trim shrubs away from foundation. Remove dead trees or branches for safety.
- Keep lawn mowed at uniform height, especially if it's the first or last mow of the season.
- Note any ants or mole activity that needs treatment.
- Pressure wash your home, including the steps, walkways, driveways, mailboxes, porches, balconies, and decks.
- Clean landscape elements like the gazebo, benches, and swing sets, lawn furniture, cushions, grills, fire pits, and decorative lighting.
- Carefully inspect the roof, attic, basement, and exterior for mould, mildew, rust, and ingrown plants that need to be treated. Look for loose shingles or brick mortar erosion that need attention. Check weatherproofing like caulk and door strips.
- Clean exterior lighting covers and screens.
- Wash all the windows - on both sides - and the garage door. Adjust your draperies and lighting so the view is pleasant from the street.
- Pay attention to the backyard. Drive-by browsers will crane to have a look, so make it as inviting as the front.
- Tidy the garage to ensure the vehicles fit inside. Stow loose parts out of sight and keep lawn tools put away. Lightly sweep the walls and wash the floor to remove oil stains. If yours is painted, it may need a fresh coat.
Cleaning up after each task seems like common sense, but it's easy to succumb to procrastination when you're tired. Enlist the aid of enterprising neighbourhood teens and preteens looking to earn some extra cash. Let them handle common tidying tasks so you're free to tackle repairs.
Light Up Their Life
Brightly lit homes show well. Exterior lighting beautifies a home. It highlights landscape details, enhances safety and deters break ins. For evening showings, turn on all interior lights. Just as open drapes during the day let natural light stream in, open them after dark to let interior lighting extend a warm welcome. Keep all fixtures clean and make sure all of the bulbs are working.
Splashes of colour within the landscape are important elements that also brighten the view. Vary heights and textures of plants and trees. Plant patches of colourful perennials and annuals to surprise and delight the senses. Keep fencing, retaining walls and edging materials unobstructed and maintained.
Choose Impressive Improvements That Add Value
Not all improvements are a good idea. Ask your realtor to determine which may yield the best return on investment for your home. Kitchen and bath remodels can open up the space, and updating appliances and fixtures is almost always a great idea. Fresh paint makes a house smell new but remove any wallpaper first (we have seen it!). Wood decks and fences may need fresh coats too. Notice popular colour schemes in your area to use as a guide. You want your home to stand out, but not like a sore thumb. One curb appeal evolving is CTTH, or curb to the home fibre optic services. Expensive to install, but if it's available in your area, it can appeal to buyers as technology continues to drive more services in the home.
Buyer Turn Offs
Foul odours will give your home a poor reputation for showing. Have your floors and carpets cleaned, sanitized, and deodorized to remove pet odours. Keep litter boxes clean. Accumulated cigarette smoke and tar residue need to be removed by professionals. Keep smoking outdoors and away from entrances, open windows and doors and none within two hours of a showing.
And it sounds basic, but stow tools and toys before showing and keep them put away when not in use. You'd be surprised how many people show up to a viewing only to find the toddler's crayons all over the floor and dirty dishes in the sink. It's not a good first impression.
Elbow grease fits everyone's budget and saves money, but you can contract for services if you're the type so fascinated by work that you can watch it for hours. Whether you hire help or spruce it up yourself, you might carry this checklist along as you become the buyer looking for your next home.
Photo credits: https://stock.adobe.com/ca/Posted by Terry Paranych on