So, you have decided to get your home on the market. This means more than just a once over in the house, a quick mop, dust and a vacuum. Although those things are extremely important when readying for the sale (as well as throughout the listing process) the exterior of your home warrants just as much TLC as the Interior and is an often overlooked opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition.
Curb Appeal. It is the face of your home; the first thing potential Buyers see. One may think there is no need to devote any attention to the outside of your home, especially during the cold nd dreary Calgary winter, but I assure you, there is. Below is a list of things that we recomment our clients address before putting your property on the market.
Walk around: Take a stroll around your property. Pick up anything you see as clutter or unwanted; garbage, recycling, kids toys, excess cords, etc. Whatever it is, clean it up and remove it from your line of vision.
Daily duties: Cleaning up dog mess, although this is not appealing, it is essential that this is done on a regular basis. Sometimes showings are very last minute, and you don't want potential buyers to be distracted by the 'mess' in the corner. You want everyone who looks at your home's exterior ammenities; front and back yard, to see it's full potential! On those cold snowy days, it is also very important to make sure your front entry walk, as well as your steps, are shoveled regularly. If there are icy patches, throw some salt or sand down. You want potential buyers to see that a well maintained exterior leads to a well maintained interior.
Remove Clutter: Those rakes, shovels, extra garden hose attachments you have just lying around; this is a great time to tuck them away into the garage. The large garbage and recycling bins that the city has so generously provided us with, although functional can also serve as an eye sore. If your pick up comes to the front of your home, put these bins along side of your house, or if at all possible store in the garage until next week. Your main goal is to make your home look well organized and free of clutter. Hang the garden hose neatly. If you need to keep the tools on the outside of the house, make sure they look tidy.
House Numbering: Walk across the street and take a look at your home from your neighbors perspective; does your house address stand out to you? The numbers should be clearly spread out and easy to see, they should not blend. If the numbers don't fit any of this criteria, it is an easy and inexpensive fix. Note: this is also very important for safety measures.
Flowers and shrubbery: If there is snow on the ground, chances are you are unable to see your plants, therefore, this is not much of a problem at this time. During the spring, summer and fall months it is a good idea to keep your flora and fauna in as good of shape as ever. Remove dead plants and excess debris. Plan to keep your grass well maintained; cut on a regular basis. Addressing your outdoor garden shouldn't be a money grab. The idea behind staging is to work with what you have, the key is maintenance.
Once you think you've done all of this, a fool-proof trick is to take photos of your home from a few different vantage points. Then, carefully look at the photos objectively. Looking at photos of your property can help you to disassociate yourself with your home and look at it as a 'product' that needs to be sold. Often the little things that seem to blend into the background when you are used to seeing them day-in and day-out become surprisingly obvious is a two-dimentionsional photo. Far better to find out now, then after the professional photographer shows up and the photos are done!
As a seller, maintaining your homes exterior appeal, along with the interior (we'll get to this later), is an integral part of getting top dollar for your property. As such, its something that is worthwhile to be actively involved with.
Jessica Christian is both a Licensed Real Estate Associate and the FRESH Real Estate Staging Specialist.
Before obtaining her License to trade in Real Estate, Jessica received her diploma in Interior Decorating. Her love of design combined with her tireless work ethic and her dedication to providing her clients with an incredible service experience makes Jessica a triple threat when it comes to preparing our client's homes for the sales process.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with Jessica to discuss the listing process and how we can help you prepare for it click here.