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Trying to Sell Your Home? Tips for Preparing Your Home for the Market #7: The Exterior

by: Sue Adler
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Of course, it doesn’t matter how beautiful the inside of your home looks if the outside is in disrepair and uninviting. After all, potential buyers will see your home’s exterior before they ever take a step inside. In many cases, potential buyers first learn about a home after driving past it and being drawn to the way it looks from the outside. Taking steps to make your home more appealing and welcoming when viewed from the road is referred to as “curb appeal” within the real estate industry. Creating curb appeal is a relatively simple process that doesn’t have to cost a whole lot of money. In fact, several of the steps required to create curb appeal do not cost a single penny.

Clear Up the Clutter

You may have noticed by now that a common theme in preparing a home for market is to clean up the clutter, and this certainly holds true for prepping the outside as well. A yard that is full of children’s toys, outdoor equipment or other items will quickly turn off potential buyers. The same is true for a yard that is filled with trash or debris from nature, such as an excessive number of twigs and branches scattered throughout the yard. Therefore, the first step toward getting your exterior ready is to simply clean up the clutter and other debris.  Make sure the lawn is edged, cut and watered.  During spring and summer months, add a few potted flowers near your front entrance.

Make it Sparkle

Once the clutter and debris has been removed from your yard and property, the next step toward prepping the exterior is to make sure everything is clean and in proper order. If your siding is in disrepair or if your exterior paint is chipped, you will need to reside your house or give it a fresh layer of paint. Check around doors and windows; paint chipping is common in these areas.  If you have shutters, they may need to be repainted as well. If your siding is in good shape, make sure it is clean and free from dirt, grime and mildew. For most homes, power washing the exterior is an easy and quick way to get everything clean and looking its best. While you are at it, powerwash the driveway and any other surface that is in need of cleaning.

Repair as Necessary

Of course, any part of your exterior that has fallen into disrepair will need to be fixed as well. Fencing shouldn’t have holes or broken posts, windows should not be cracked or otherwise broken, check the roof for any loose or damaged shingles and your entryway should be open and inviting. If numbers have fallen off the side of your home or from the mailbox, be sure to install new ones. Remember, you don’t want to give the buyer a reason to walk away from your home before he ever steps foot inside the door. If you can grab and hold the buyer’s interest long enough to walk through the door, you will have significantly increased your chances of making a sale. Don’t let a potential opportunity slip by – these simple tips go a long way.


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