Can You Use Mulch On October For The Flower Bid Maximizing Curb Appeal and First Impressions to Sell your Home

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Maximizing Curb Appeal and First Impressions to Sell your Home

We all know that if a house or property of any kind is to sell faster and at a higher price, it must have what is known as curb appeal. It’s often not the expensive stuff that makes the difference. Here are some things that can be done.

Keep the grass cut, not too short, but well-kept and often – you never know which day a prospective buyer will arrive. Include curbs along all sidewalks, driveways, and other landscaping features. Use a weed eater around any areas where weeds are growing. Use hedge trimmers on every possible hedge and bush. In particular, trim any hedges that block the view from any window or reduce light coming through windows. Use lots and lots of thick, fresh mulch. Mulch is inexpensive, but it works wonders in decorating a home. If your yard or acreage has been abandoned for too long, start with a professional service first and then maintain the property yourself if you wish. If you need to hire a landscaping service during the selling period to keep the property in pristine shape, do so. A well-maintained lot is critical to the best sales, and a few hundred dollars during the sale period will net you thousands more.

Make the property and home inviting and present it using bright colored flowers; red and yellow flowers of the brightest colors are best. Make sure the flowers are well maintained and the beds well maintained. Buyers are unlikely to see other homes in your price range with similar floral treatments and your home will rise to the top of the buyer’s list.

Repair, paint and restore all outdoor furniture, patio furniture and decorations and all decorative items on the property. This includes the mailbox, if any. In fact, a bed of mulch, flowers, shrubs decorating the bottom of a mailbox can make a great first impression if it is well made and well maintained.

Every day, open the windows or turn on all the fans in the kitchen and bathroom to freshen the air in the home. Many people are allergic to perfumes, spices, and aerosol sprays, so don’t use the old tricks of potpourri, aerosol air fresheners, etc. Vanilla extract is usually safe. You can use some REAL vanilla extract, a few drops, on a piece of bread and put it in the oven on the lowest setting (about 100 degrees) for 20 minutes before the house shows. You can buy or rent electronic room deodorizers to freshen the air with filtration. If you have pets, thorough cleaning and daily vacuuming and constant operation of the cleaning equipment is a great idea. Many people are allergic to pet dander, and even the slightest smell of cats or dogs kills sales.

If necessary, rent a storage unit, hold at least one, or even better, two or three yard sales, and get rid of more and more things you no longer need or use. Clean out the attic and make it COMPLETELY organized. Clean out the garage and buildings and completely arrange everything that is left inside. The more stuff you have OUT of the garage, attic, storage buildings, and out in the yard (if it’s not landscaping) and the more you take out of the closets, the more spacious the home appears to buyers.

Even a cleaned, emptied and perfectly organized garage looks much bigger and better when the cars are out of it. Before dismantling, move ALL cars to another location, down the street (not in front of the house) or into a neighbor’s house or driveway. There should be no cars in the garage, driveway or in front of the house when the buyer and the agent arrive.

Go through the entire home and get rid of most of the plaster and about three quarters of everything else. Go to a model home or furniture showroom and examine, perhaps even photograph, how they are decorated. Clean the home, clean the shelves and tops of things – until your property looks like a model house. This goes for every room in the house! Clean the counters in the kitchen, clean or put away MOST of the stuff in the kids’ rooms (anything they don’t use much), and get rid of any old paperbacks or ugly books on the bookshelves. If the bookshelves are full, open the shelves by putting more than half of the books in storage, or have a yard sale. Get rid of a lot of furniture and sell what you don’t want to keep in your next home, or put a lot into storage. Wipe everything and make it bad!

Remove all family pictures from walls and tops of furniture. Remove all unprofessional pictures and artwork from the walls. Fix the holes. Family pictures, very few, in the master bedroom and in the children’s rooms make the home look like a happy home.

If you have a fireplace. Clean it up. Clean it with concrete and brick cleaners and clean all bricks and the inside of the fireplace with suitable professional cleaners from a fireplace store or hardware store. In winter, especially if it’s cold or dreary and cloudy outside, build a fire before the show. In this case, stay by the fire until the realtor gets there, then go a little way away, like next door, and come back (for safety) as soon as the realtor leaves. Just make sure that if ANY smoke appears in the house while lighting the fire, you fully ventilate the home before showing. It’s great to start and stoke the fire half an hour before the show.

Be sure to wash all windows inside and outside the home, this includes second story windows, storm windows and pressure wash or brush and soapy water for any screens as well. If there is a screened porch, make sure all screens are in perfect condition, well stretched and well cleaned. Keep every glass and mirror in your home sparkling clean.

Flower boxes are a great and profitable touch. Favorite perennials are bright red geraniums in outdoor window boxes, under any windows that can be viewed from the street. There are very few things that can add curb appeal to a home like geraniums in window boxes, and they’re inexpensive!

Clean, organize and clean all cupboards, drawers and cupboards in kitchens and bathrooms. Buyers often pull out kitchen and bathroom drawers and open the cabinets to better see the size and build quality, as well as the quality of the drawer runners, whether there are pull-out shelves, etc. Impress them with the quality of your interior cabinets and drawers in the kitchen and bathroom.

Note: You must leave the home while the agent is showing the house. Leave just before they get there or right after they arrive. Home sellers are deal killers. Prospective buyers are uncomfortable talking about real estate to a broker, and they are uncomfortable even looking too closely at a home if the seller is present.

Fencing is another area where you get a lot more back than you spend with a higher selling price and less time on the market! A new white vinyl fence is a great investment to increase the value of your home beyond the cost of the fence and set your home apart from all the others on the market.

Apartments and townhouses must also be attractive. If there is no yard; keep all stairs, pavement and entrance clean, tidy and in good condition. Check with your housing association that they will repair anything that needs to be done promptly and professionally. The priority of every owner in the complex is to sell your home for as much as possible and as quickly as possible; which increases the value and saleability of each unit in the association. Make sure your front door and surroundings LOOK GOOD!

Check everything around your unit; check the parking lot and the surrounding area; also check the community arrangement. If something needs to be done, find out if the association will take care of it or if you can do the work yourself in some cases. For example, if there is edging and weeding to be done, you may be allowed to do the work near your unit. For example, if you have a concrete sidewalk and steps, just brushing and scrubbing with bleach will greatly improve the appearance and first impression.

Bleach works wonders. If there is ANY mold on the outside of the home, pressure washing with bleach will clean it and kill the mold and mildew. In the case of wood siding and shingles, pressure washing with bleach (consider double or triple the strength of sodium hypochlorite, same as bleach but stronger) will clean the wood shingles and keep them looking renewed. You can also use oxalic acid wood bleach or one of the professional wood and shingle cleaners. Pay attention to the labels, these are effective chemicals and strong!

Proper and effective landscaping and image enhancement techniques such as these typically add at least 15% and as much as 25% to the perceived value and therefore the sale price and appraised value of a home. Most of these techniques will get you at least $4 back for every $1 spent.

Curb appeal must be strong enough to cause people driving past your home at ten to thirty miles per hour to stop or at least turn their heads to look at your property as they pass. With a Realtor For Sale sign on your property and lots of curb appeal, lots and lots of people should stop, write down information about the sign, and pick up brochures from the brochure box attached to the sign. Curb appeal sells!

Increase your curb appeal and improve your first impression when you want to sell your property. Otherwise, you will sell more slowly and for less money than if you used these tips.

Copyright 2000-2005

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