We all know it’s a seller’s market in the Tampa Bay area right now. Nevertheless, first impressions always count, and as soon as potential buyers step out of their cars, they are already forming opinions. Can they see themselves living there? Does the home look well-maintained? Do they love the landscaping? Do they need to repaint that awful color?
Gulf Living Group has a few tips to increase that curb appeal to help you get the most out of your home sale.
Freshen up the Paint
Let’s start with the color. A nice neutral that fits in with other houses on the street will always appeal to buyers. If your current paint is in bad shape or the colors are simply dated, you might want to consider a fresh coat. If painting the whole house is too expensive and not necessary, a quick power wash will give it a clean look. Even just painting the trim or front door can give your home a bright, updated appearance.
Cut Back Trees and Shrubs
Trees and shrubs should accent and enhance your house, not hide it. Overgrown bushes shouldn’t obscure the house number. Gutters should be clear of debris and leaves. Dead trees and large tree limbs hanging precariously over the house create hurricane and roof concerns. Basic shrub and tree trimming and pruning can yield impressive results.
Clean the Roof and Gutters
Buyers notice roofs, and it goes beyond curb appeal. Whether your roof is old or newer, dirt, algae and sagging gutters detract from the home’s appearance and give the impression of neglect. The roof is a major expense item and one of the biggest factors in influencing offer prices. If your roof needs replacing, you might want to consider doing it or offer a credit towards a new one. Otherwise, clean any debris or algae growth and reattach any loose gutters.
Manicure Your Lawn
Keep your lawn freshly mowed, trimmed, and edged. Give it special attention before weekend showings. If you don’t have the time or the inclination to do it yourself, consider hiring a professional yard service to keep your lawn show ready.
Flowering plants can be a quick and effective way to make your home look bright, fresh, and inviting. Alternatively, Florida-friendly low-maintenance landscaping is also a great choice, and kind to the environment, as it reduces the need for watering. Get advice as to which plants will do best for your circumstance and yard, and be sure to add fresh mulch to the flower beds.
Make Outdoor Spaces Inviting
Outdoor living space is a ‘must have’ for many homebuyers. Patios, porches, and decks should look clean, fresh, and inviting. Make necessary wood deck repairs and apply fresh stain. Consider replacing or removing old, weather-beaten furniture. Brighten the space with colorful accents and potted plants.
Don’t Forget Walks, Driveways, Fences, and the Mailbox!
These are some of the first things buyers see, and while you may not notice the dirt or wear and tear, others likely will. Pressure wash brick and concrete walkways, patios, and driveways. Clean algae and dirt from fences. Replace an old, rusted mailbox, and stain or paint its post.
Things to Avoid:
Unconventional paint colors won’t do you any favors. While you may love bright pink and purple, most buyers will only see the extra cost to repaint. And though you don’t want to look like every other house on the street, a nice understated color is always best. If you want to add personality, a strong door color adds ‘pop’, but is also easy for someone to change.
Religious decor, lawn ornaments, and kids’ toys may also not be to everyone’s taste. Consider keeping your yard as neutral as possible, without looking boring.
Lastly, don’t be tempted to ‘plant’ artificial flowers. They’ll probably just look tacky. While the hot Florida climate is tough on many varieties of flowering plants, there are many alternatives that are very adaptable.
Curb Appeal Matters
In summary, first impressions are key when it comes to curb appeal. You want to wow homebuyers from the moment they pull in front of your house. With a little effort and a few updates, you’ll have buyers imagining themselves living there before they’ve even gone through the front door.