You Are Here ==> Home Page || Seller's Information || Curb Appeal
Return To Welcome Page  
Access To Local, Regional and National Home Search Tools  
  Learn the art of LOgical Thinking BEFORE you try to sell your home.
The 3 D's of Selling - De-Personalize, De-Odorize & De-Clutter
The 3 D's of Selling - De-Personalize, De-Odorize & De-Clutter
Create that Positive and Powerful First Impression - Part 2
We Have Gotten A Buyer To Come Take A Closer Look - Now What?
Create that Positive and Powerful First Impression
Some Cause and Effects of different pricing theories
What you should know about Real Estate Commissions.
Explore the options. Is FSBO for you?
Information Specifically For Home Buyers  
Getting Ready To Buy YOur 1st Home?  Here Is How To Get Started  
Detailed Information About Financing A Home and Financial Calculators  
Helpful Forms, Free Reports, Links To Free Internet Information  
Who Is Mark Swiss and Where Do I Know Him From  

Creating Curb Appeal
and Proper Property Presentation
(Part 1)

You want everything to look attractive and inviting. You want buyers to see the value in your property. While you may have invested significant funds into your home over the years, the idea now is to spend as little as practical. Weigh your expenditures and choose wisely. There are general rules of thumb about where your money is best spent (several are offered below) but certainly, nothing beats an individual property evaluation that considers the property's unique features and layout.

I help my clients get their property into presentation order as cost effectively as possible. I conduct a walk-through with my clients and discuss specific points of concern. This allows the owner to evaluate and decide which items (if any) they want to address before the property actually goes on the market. This process has helped my clients save good money from costly unnecessary updates. The rules of thumb I mentioned:

  • Any money spent on maintaining or repairing (not necessarily enhancing) curb appeal is generally a good worthwhile investment.
  • Money spent maintaining, repairing, some enhancing (not necessarily remodeling) kitchens and bathrooms generally pays for itself. Kitchens and bathrooms are special rooms to buyer - everything in these rooms must sparkle.
  • If you are preparing to move to another property and applying for a mortgage, any money you do spend on repairs/updates should be from cash or disposable savings – do not use credit cards or take out a new loan. You do not want to do anything that will increase your credit obligations (it reflects in your credit score). That in turn can affect your ability to qualify for your next mortgage. (Keep in mind, your bank’s underwriters will again pull your credit and verify all information a couple days before settlement. Employment, credit margins and liabilities must still strictly qualify.)
  • If you have a settlement date scheduled and a project or two needs to be performed, a contractor who knows you or your REALTOR, may be able to wait and be paid out of settlement. Ask you agent if your need more information.


Fixing Up Outside the House
There are at least two schools of thought on this topic. One school says to work on the outside of the house first. The belief here is that the exterior of the house is the most important. (A home buyer’s first impression is often based on their view of the property from their agent’s car.) The other school believes that unless there is a major project involved, it should be done last. The second group feels that preparing the interior of the house is easier and helps you get to the depersonalization mode sooner. This helps establish the proper mind set for selling property – thinking of your property not as your home but as a marketable commodity.

Both schools have valid points but are biased to one way or the other. My philosophy is simply go outside, if the weather is favorable to working outdoors, do it; especially if a winter or summer season change is approaching. Both the inside and outside have to be completed before you present your property and don’t see why it matters which task gets started first – It reminds me of the chicken or the egg question. So, walk across the street and take an objective look at your property. Look at surrounding properties and evaluate how yours compares. How can you make yours the fairest of them all? Let’s look at several areas.

Your landscaping should be at least slightly above average when compared to the rest of the neighborhood. Here are some things you can try:

  • add a few small bushes (azaleas, rhododendron and hydrangea come in an assortment of types and blossom colors).
  • Planting trees are not recommended. Young trees do not add much to the appearance or value of the property and mature trees are too expensive. Remember, spend as little as practical.
  • If you have a garden area, buy some colorful flowers and plant them to add a splash of color and create that favorable first impression.
  • Weed and mulch all garden areas and freshen the mulch on any areas already mulched.

The Lawn
Have your lawn freshly cut and edged for showings and all weekends during the grass growing months. Water it so it’s nice and green. Always rake up loose leaves and grass cuttings.

Plan ahead if your lawn has bare spots – it is well worthwhile to fill in those bare spots provided it is done properly. For small spots, add top soil and sprinkle seed: for larger areas, laying fresh sod may be called for. Always isolate and water the affected area. Keep is mind, you want to match the type of grass your lawn currently has – planting a different type grass can create more of a spectacle than the bare spot. If you are not sure of the type of grass you have, take some fresh clippings to a lawn specialist for identification. Another possibility may be a good sunny close-up exposure on your cell phone camera. The plan ahead warning may be very appropriate if some areas of your lawn need new sod because you will need to give it time to grab hold and blend in.
Next: Curb Appeal Part 2


Privacy Statement || Contact Webmaster || Ask a Question || Site Map

© copyright 2008, Mark Swiss of Century 21 Horizon Realty, Inc. / All rights reserved.