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Curb Appeal Matters
When you put your home on the market, you know the importance of making a good impression with the outside of your home. Curb appeal is critical to encouraging a potential buyer to want to see the inside. But many people do things that actually make their curb appeal less appealing.
The real estate web site Trulia lists eight things that can sabotage your curb appeal:
1. Ignoring the exterior. While it is important to stage the interior of your home, don’t forget about sprucing up the outside. Unless you have taken extraordinary efforts to keep your outside looking great, you probably need to plant some flowers, paint the door or make other repairs or changes in order to increase the appeal of your house.
2. Having too much clutter. Everyone has a busy life, and it is understandable that sometimes you leave stuff lying around outside. But once you put your house on the market, you need to get rid of the clutter. Clear away the toys, the lawn furniture and the rest of it, leaving your porch and yard clean and neat – and full of possibilities.
3. Landscaping that needs updating. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but do consider adding some colorful flowers, putting down mulch and generally cleaning things up.
4. Paint. A house with peeling paint or in need of a new paint job not only is not as attractive as a house with a good paint job. It also suggests that the seller has not taken good care of the house overall – which is a major turn-off for potential buyers.
5. Odd yard art. If you have large or weird yard art, you should seriously consider removing it. You might love the giant pink flamingo, but a potential buyer might just think it’s strange. When you stage the interior of your home, you want to remove most evidence of you and your family and leave the home as much as possible a blank canvas so that potential buyers can imagine themselves there. The same is true for your yard.
6. Odd landscaping. Again, you want to be as neutral as possible. Your front yard should feature tasteful plantings of flowers and shrubs, and your back yard should show how it can be used for entertaining. No dog runs, chicken coops or boats up on blocks.
7. Weird colors. You might have spent hours choosing just the right shade of purple to paint your house, but the chances are good that a potential buyer will not appreciate your efforts. Most buyers prefer tasteful, neutral colors.
8. Old fixtures. Updating your outside lights is relatively inexpensive and can make a big difference in how your house looks. Also, make sure your door works easily; you don’t want potential buyers to have to struggle just to get inside.