Lehi Real Estate View: Preparing the exterior of your home to sell

Greg Adamson | Guest Writer

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A home’s curb appeal really does matter. Preparing your home to sell should include a clean and fresh entryway and front door, and good landscaping.

When I am out showing homes, it is always interesting to hear what buyers are thinking and what they notice as we walk up to the house. Buyers can make judgments about a home in the first 30 seconds that can alter their perception of the home. Curb appeal is an actual thing in real estate, you can fall in love with a home the second you get out of the car. I have seen people ready to buy their future home without stepping foot inside. I have also seen the opposite where a buyer won’t get out of their car because of poor curb appeal. Having your home prepared and ready for your one shot is important.

There are many things you can do to improve the appearance of your home, including cleaning up clutter, updating outdoor lighting, cleaning gutters and downspouts, removing Christmas lights and other things that will distract buyers. I know it can get overwhelming to prepare a home to sell. If you only have time to focus on a couple things, I think the two most important areas are your front door and landscaping.

The front door is so important! Most sellers will put their access key box on the front door. When I am showing the home, it will take a minute to get it open and get the house opened. In that time the buyer is focused on that front door and porch area. Many judgments are being made at that point, potential buyers will notice chipped or peeling paint on the door trim. A new fresh coat of paint on the door and trim makes a big difference. Make sure your porch is swept and cleaned of dirt and spider webs. Having a nice, clean, and welcoming front entry enhances the initial curb appeal of the home.

Landscaping is also key if you are preparing to put your home on the market. Make sure the lawn is mowed and edged, and that weeds are removed. A properly working sprinkler system, and a nicely manicured lawn and yard can sell a home. A poorly landscaped home can adversely affect a home.

Broken or misplaced sprinklers can also cause problems. I was showing a home last week to a buyer for the second time. They were really excited about the home and considering an offer. The showing was going great until we found a puddle of water in the unfinished basement. This naturally caused a lot of concern for my buyer. We took a look outside where we noticed grass and sprinklers right against the foundation and a grade that sloped into the house. Poor landscaping, over watering and misguided sprinklers were the cause of the basement water. This could have been a simple and inexpensive landscaping fix that should have been noticed and fixed before listing the house. That water in the basement caused the buyer to walk away.

As the summer heats up and the market continues to roll, it is still important to take the time to have your home prepared to show. If you are selling your home, take a step back and look at the curb appeal of your home and see what things stand out to you. When that car pulls up and the buyer steps out, make sure you are ready for that all important first impression!

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