Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Curb Appeal - Part 1

Despite the residual snow on the ground outside – I know, it’s ONLY the end of March! – it’s time to start thinking about ways to improve your likelihood for selling your Saline, Michigan home this spring.

Curb appeal is the aspect of your home which a prospective home buyer can see from the curb or the street. It’s the first impression your home gives to anyone who approaches your home.

There are many aspects of curb appeal to consider, including the condition of your home (roof, trim, paint, clean windows, etc) and landscape (lawn, gardens, sidewalk(s), driveway, patio(s)). Today I’ll focus exclusively on only one aspect of the “Curb Appeal” of your home – the landscape as you approach your front door.

What is the condition of your front sidewalk? Is it smooth and level? Are there trip hazards – raised/sunken sections of the sidewalk?

Are the plants along the edge of your front sidewalk overhanging and interfering with a buyer’s walk to the front door?

Do you have a fresh “Welcome” mat outside your front door?

Are the windows on the front door, or to the side of the front door, clean and shiny?

Does the doorbell work?

I’ll always recall the sale of home several years ago, for the complete effectiveness of the curb appeal as we approached the front door.

As we approached the home, the sellers had installed, to each side of the sidewalk approaching the front door, a hanging flower basket. The metal pole holding the hanging basket on each side was shaped in the form of a half-heart. In other words, when you looked at the poles from a distance, you saw the form of a Heart outlined by the poles. The hanging flower baskets were full of vibrantly colored flowers. All in all, the setting was incredibly inviting. Once we were inside the home, the buyers (who already had a fabulous first impression of the home), fell in love with the interior, and immediately made an offer to purchase. Sadly, though, this example is more unique that you might imagine.

When it comes time for you to sell, be sure to ask your Realtor® to help you maximize the first impression of your home’s curb appeal. It can earn you a higher sale price and a likely faster sale.

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