Category Archives: curb appeal tips

The Complete Curb Appeal Checklist (that gets your house sold!)

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brick home with nice landscaping and all the items on the curb appeal checklistWhen your house is on the market, you want your house to look its very best so potential buyers are practically begging to come in. It’s called curb appeal, and it can be the difference between a potential buyer walking away and getting top sales price for your home. Adding curb appeal shows potential buyers 1) that your house is taken care of and well maintained, and 2) that the interior is just as inviting as the exterior of the home.

That’s why you can’t miss any steps on this complete curb appeal checklist. This is a time to be thorough and detailed (and if you can’t be-to hire someone who can). If you need more advice on how to add curb appeal of your home, contact a real estate agent to come to your home. They can give you tips that can improve the curb appeal of your home—and your chances of selling your home quickly and smoothly.

Driveway & Sidewalks

  • Repair cracks.
  • Seal driveway.
  • Clean driveway and sidewalks.

Deck & Porch

  • Repair any loose or warped boards.
  • Make sure your deck is safe and secure.
  • Repair and secure your deck and porch railings and steps so they are safe.
  • Stain your deck so it looks its best.

Home Exterior

  • Remove any faded or peeling paint, and put on a new coat.
  • Fix any broken or bent downspouts or gutters.
  • Pressure wash house.
  • Make sure your front porch light—and all other lights—work.
  • Wash your front door and clean your storm door and any windows in your door.
  • Make sure your door knobs work and are not loose.
  • Replace any loose bricks or siding.
  • Make sure your roof is in good repair and replace any missing shingles.
  • Wash your garage door and repair any squeaks.

Windows

  • Clean the interior and exterior of your windows.
  • Make repairs and caulk any gaps (or replace if needed).

Trees, Lawn & Flower beds

  • Prune your trees and bushes.
  • Remove any overgrown vegetation that covers the exterior of your house.
  • Mow your lawn and repair any brown spots.
  • Keep your flower beds weeded and neat.
  • Add fresh mulch to your flower beds.
  • Remove any dead flowers, trees, or bushes.

What can I do if my house won’t sell?

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sold homeIt’s hard in a seller’s market to see your property sit on the market, but the fact is that it does happen. Selling your home is not a hard science; so many factors play a part in whether a house sits on the market for 30 days or 300 days: price, location, condition, home inspection issues, real estate market. While not all of those factors are under your control—you can’t control the real estate market—there are steps you can take to improve the saleability of your home:

  1. Clean, clean, clean. A deep clean is essential to a home sale. Take the white glove approach to tile grout, flooring (especially carpeting), bathrooms and sinks. Don’t leave out pest traps in visible areas; you don’t want buyers to be disgusted and not continue their home tour. If you can’t take on the task of a deep cleaning, ask your realtor for a recommendation for a cleaning company that can. It’s worth the investment.
  2. Consider minor home improvements. Don’t feel like you have to break the bank, but remain focused. Bathrooms and kitchens are the two main areas to invest your funds, such as in new updated counter tops and refaced cabinets. Ask your realtor for recommendations; they know the area and what prospective buyers expect in your locale. Remember, don’t break the bank making the improvements; you don’t want to invest money that you won’t get back.
  3. Improve your curb appeal. A well kept home on the outside is important; it gives prospective buyers the reassurance that you are keeping the outside and inside in good condition. Clean up any trash in the yard, and keep the walks clean. You want your house to look well-maintained and inviting. This is your chance to make a favorable first impression; good curb appeal starts that impression at the door, with the hope that it continues inside.
  4. Get rid of the red flags. When selling your home, first impressions do matter. Replacing a broken window or repairing water-damaged drywall can be the difference between a quick sale and a dragged out process. A pre-listing home inspection can locate potential red flags before your home hits the market—and before a buyers’ home inspector finds them as well. Buyers are scared away by homes they consider money pits, even if the repairs are minimal.
  5. Reevaluate the price. This is the option no one wants to hear, but a high price tag is one of the hugest obstacles to a quick sale. Read our recent blog posts for tips on how to ensure your house is priced fairly; look at comparable sales in the area, and be realistic. A house priced too high is a house that is going to stay for sale for the long term.

If you’re worried about why your house won’t sell, talk to your realtor. Ask them for a recommendation on a realistic sales price and any improvements suitable for the area of your home. A good, experienced realtor knows what buyers expect in your area, and what they’ll pay. Be patient and be smart. Your home sale could be just a home tour away.

5 Must-Follow Curb Appeal Tips that Sell Your Home

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curb appeal tips for selling your homeThere are so many things to worry about when listing your Wisconsin home for sale on the real estate market. It’s easy to focus on the inside, and ignore the outside—even though that’s the first thing a potential buyer sees when they pull up to your home. So how do you make a good impression on potential buyers so how they want to purchase your house? Use these must-follow curb appeal tips:

  1. Make sure your lawn, hedges and trees are well-trimmed. Get out your lawn mower, pruners and weed eater. It’s time to keep the lawn neat and mowed, remove those stray branches and get rid of the weeds. You want your yard to show that you take good care of your home. Remember this is your chance to make a good impression from the moment a potential buyer drives up; if you can’t keep up with the yard work, ask your realtor to recommend a yard service that can.
  2. Check for cracks. Inspect your driveway and sidewalk for cracks. Make repairs as needed, and replace serious cracks in concrete and asphalt areas. Seal your asphalt driveway to give your curb appeal a finished look.
  3. Wash or paint your house. Yes, your house is judged by the peeling paint or mold growing on the siding. Wash or paint your house, or ask your realtor for a recommendation of a good local contractor that can make your home look new again. Don’t forget to wash your garage door, which is easy to forget and can build up with dirt over time.
  4. Make sure your deck is ready to wow the buyers. If you have a deck on the front or back of your house, wash or stain your deck to make sure it looks its best. If your deck has been around for awhile, have an inspector check the deck during a pre-listing inspection. You don’t get any surprises when the buyers’ inspector finds cracking supports or sinking footings, which could delay your closing date or drop your selling price.
  5. Check your lighting. What does your outdoor lighting say about your house? Does it say, “I’m outdated on the outside, just wait until you get to the inside?” or “My owners didn’t check the light bulbs out here, so they must have forgot to do other maintenance?” The good news is that updating the lighting on the exterior of your house is pretty inexpensive (especially if you shop around). Make sure the lights inside the exterior light fixtures all work, so you can turn on all the lights for a night showing.

If you need any other tips, or want to get an idea of the value of your home before you list, contact one of our experienced real estate agents on Facebook. An agent can come to your home, give a realistic selling price and give you tips to increase the value of your home. They can also answer any questions you have about preparing and listing your home for sale, so you can get your house on the market—and get the best possible selling price.