Easy spring projects to help buyers fall in love with your home

If homeowners could see their properties through buyers’ eyes, it would, well, open them. It’s easy to overlook the flaws in your own home that you’ve lived with for so long, but any potential buyer will see those flaws first.

The place to start is, of course, at the curb. Here’s a checklist of curb appeal items to help make your home more appealing. Many involve inexpensive and straightforward fixes you or your landscaping person can undertake, now that spring is here.


6 ways to spruce up the yard

• Rake up the debris and garbage leftover from winter. Unlike in the fall, this is not a daily requirement to keep a property looking visitor-ready, so no excuses.

• Trim the shrubs. Among the fastest ways to create a horrible first impression is to let shrubbery obscure the entry and hang over the front walk like the ghost of Christmas past. Use shrubs to showcase and frame your entry instead of burying it.

• Mow and edge. Reasonably or not, tidiness conveys the impression that you take extra good care of your entire property. So, ban the kids’ toys until the property sells, and keep your lawn trimmed.

• Add finishing touches. Once the snow is mostly melted, it’s easy to take stock of what your yard needs to make it pretty for buyers. If it’s early spring, you obviously can’t plant flowers yet, but you can reseed bare spots in the lawn and add fresh mulch to the flowerbeds.


4 ways to communicate = ‘this is a well-maintained home’

• Clear the gutters. Especially if you see baby trees peeking out of them. If you see debris on the roof, climb up there and clear that off, too. And while you’re up on your ladder, yes, you must take down those Christmas lights. They were not designed to remain up all year long.

• Touch up peeling paint. Nothing makes a house look shabbier than patches of bare wood surrounded by deteriorating paint. And it’s so easy to fix.

• Rejuvenate the fences. Good fences make good neighbours — and an excellent first impression. Leaning, decaying fences? Not so much. If you can’t afford to replace a fence that’s seen better days, you (or an experienced handyperson) can at least prop it up and power-wash it.

• Refresh the mailbox. We tend to overlook practical items like the mailbox. Generally, installing a new box (with house numbers!) is the easiest, fastest way to refresh this area without calling undue attention.

However, if it’s a prominent fixture, it’s best to install something in keeping with the home’s architecture. Don’t put an old fashioned country mailbox on a mid-century modern home. Keep your design scheme consistent with the home’s architecture.

• Amp up your address. To ensure that buyers are confident they’re in the right spot, freshen up your house numbers. Larger numbers, where architecturally appropriate, do their job artfully — especially if you spotlight them. Smaller ones are fine, but just be certain someone can spot them easily from the street.


Create an entry that wows in 3 easy steps

• Amp up the hardscape. A vast expanse of concrete driveway greets buyers driving up to most homes. Often, a path takes off from the driveway toward the front entry. But you probably rarely use it.

You can immediately improve your home’s curb appeal by power-washing all that concrete and dressing up the path. Staining the concrete, lining the walkway with low hedges or other plantings, or installing stone or brick borders are all ways to quickly elevate the importance of the path the home’s buyers will be treading.

• Spruce up the entry. Evaluate everything from the porch light, doormat, seating and planters to the front door and its hardware. At minimum, everything needs to be cleaned or replaced. Make sure that the lock works and that the doorknob looks like a medic just signed off on its cleanliness. If the paint is peeling, repaint it. If you have some design savvy, you can repaint your front door in an eye-catching colour to really pull in a buyer’s attention.

Every window needs to sparkle, especially those at the entry. Renew every lightbulb near the entrance because not all buyers visit during the day. They may even do a drive-by in the evening, so turn those porch lights on at night. Lights also have an annoying tendancy to burn out at the worst possible moment if they aren’t brand new, so think about doing the same inside your home.

• Install decorative lighting. Restraint is essential where decorative lighting is concerned. But, done well, this type of lighting can really extend a warm welcome right out to the street. If you have a long walkway, add solar lights along it’s curve for interest. If there’s a really great tree in your front yard, consider uplighting it.

You can’t judge a book by it’s cover is very true, but if that cover is really worn out, a potential buyer may think the inside is also neglected. To ensure success in selling your home, implement these easy steps and watch it fly off the shelf!

— Inman News