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Curb Appeal

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Making your home attractive becomes even more important in a buyer’s market.

“Sellers need to consider their home from a buyer’s point of view,” said Realtor Elizabeth Johnson managing broker/owner of the Chesapeake Bay Office Frank Hardy, Inc. in Deltaville.

A nice appearance is essential for several reason. “It helps the house sail through the home inspection,” said Johnson. Sellers should put their house in tip-top shape for the appraisal.

Buyers expect the house to be in good condition, with all those minor repairs taken care of.

Moving in is hard enough, buyers don’t want to spend time and more money on repairs. Those buying second homes or weekend retreats are buying a place to relax, not work, said Johnson.

It all starts with curb appeal, said Johnson, who offered these tips for making your home more appealing.

  1. Clean up the yard. Remove toys, garden tools and hoses, and too many lawn gnomes. The perspective buyer may not appreciate your alma mater banner or political sign in the yard. Try to make the approach to your home attractive and welcoming as possible.

  2. Enhance landscaping. Fill in bare spots in the lawn. Weed flower beds, prune shrubs and put on a fresh layer of mulch. Repair sidewalks, broken fences. Block unpleasant views with fences or shrubs. Fill in pot holes. If you are selling a waterfront home consider the condition of your shoreline. Is there erosion? Do you need rip rap?  Does your bulkhead or dock need repair?

  3. Take care of exterior maintenance. Replace missing roof shingles. Wash windows, replace missing screens. Repair or paint trim. Paint shutters and front door if faded. Clean siding. Service swimming pool.

  4. Enhance the interior. Take care of interior maintenance. Clean out closets. Remove knick knacks and furniture you can live without to create more space. Don’t block doorways and water views with furniture and TVs. Paint dark rooms to brighten the space and make them appear larger. Clean the carpets. Clean light fixtures, mirrors, ceiling fans. Repair leaky faucets, toilets and appliances. Place new towels and fragrant soaps in bathrooms. Put away personal papers and photos. Keep pets outside.

    posted 03.25.2010

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