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Preparing the exterior of your home for sale

Curb appeal is what makes a potential buyer want to see inside.
The outside of your home should make the first sales pitch for you.

Here are some suggestions and tips to prepare the exterior of your home before you place it on the market.

-If you have any bare spaces outdoors or on an unused upper or lower deck, group two chairs, a small table, and a plant to make it look like livable space.

- If mold or pollen deposits have crept their way onto your exterior walls, spray with a half-bleach/half water solution (test a small area first).

-Does your home need a new paint job? Now is the time to touch up or repaint.

-You may be able to replace and repaint one or two worn boards rather than tearing out an entire section, either on walls or on a fence.

- Get rid of all landscape or potted plants and foliage that are dying or sickly. Replace with colorful vegetation - bright flowers make a home look cheerful.

- Purchase a welcome mat that has subtle patterns; avoid any wording.

-Make sure your front door is free of dirt. Does it need to be repainted? Better yet, you may want to consider purchasing a new door. This is probably the first part of the house a potential buyer will be in contact with.

-Is the door handle shiny and new-looking or does it show wear from too many hands? Do the door keys work smoothly without jiggling? Replacement is easy.

-Other than nondescript plants with fresh flowers or foliage and a doormat, your front entry should be empty of personal or decorative items.

-Make sure the front porch light fixture is clean.

-Are any cracks showing on the sidewalk or driveway? If you see hairline cracks, fill them in with concrete patch.

-Make sure windows are clean.

-Mow and edge - the lawn should be immaculate. Re-sod over any dead areas, depending on the time of year your home is on the market.

-Trim back low limbs or those that are close to gutters or are scraping the roof.

-Do you have any roof leaks? Repair loose shingles or replace the roof - this part of the home has to be watertight or you may find yourself replacing it as a provision of the sale.

- If your dog does its business in the back yard, pick up afterward. Use sealable baggies so your trash does not smell. Place charcoal briquettes inside trashcans to handle other odors as well.

-Make sure all toys and yard tools are stacked neatly or hung inside the garage. If you are renting a storage space to hold interior belongings, consider removing swing sets and other large items for the time being. You want the back yard to look spacious and ready for a new owner.

-Remove all signs of personal ownership such as name plaques or decorative mailbox covers.

-Is the mailbox sagging? Is the post leaning? The mailbox should look new and the post freshly painted.

-How does your home look at dusk or after dark? Is it well lit and inviting? Take a drive past at different times of day to evaluate the lighting. Add temporary or permanent walkway lighting if necessary. Potential buyers make take several drive-bys before they ask to see the interior of the house.

-Check the gutters for debris and leaks. Repair any bent or damaged sections.

-Make sure that decking looks fresh. Re-stain if necessary and replace loose deck screws and rotting boards.

Make every effort to prepare your home for the buyer before contacting a real estate agent and you may just find your home sold before you know it.

Other helpful articles:
Preparing a Home's Interior for Sale
Buying a Home for its Resale Value



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