4 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal

4 Ways to Improve Your Curb AppealYou have about five minutes to impress (or not) prospective buyers at a showing. For curb appeal, you get about five seconds for buyers to decide whether they want to go inside.

Here are four tips to help you get the wow factor from your home’s street-facing views.

Update Entryway Hardware

A wall-mounted mailbox, chic house numbers and a pretty porch light add interest to your entryway. However, dated and dinged hardware impress no one. In a perfect world, all your hardware matches in style, color and finish. Of course, it should also tie-in to the style of your house. Brushed nickel house numbers look fabulous on a modern home but might clash with your Victorian-style house.

Splash On The Color

A gallon of high-quality paint costs about $25 and should cover the front door, trim and shutters. This simple upgrade gives the whole property a fresh look. Of course, if the street-facing side of your home has peeling or faded paint, you’ll have to paint that too. If you end up painting the facade, it’s best to do the entire house at the same time to maintain color conformity. 

Plant Power

A walkway trimmed in plants and flowers creates an inviting look. You can buy pre-planted greenery at your local home and garden center for an easy makeover of your walkway. For a less labor-intensive effect, install window boxes to add color and perk up your home’s exterior. Be careful to maintain them, since dying plants don’t increase curb appeal.

Create An Outdoor Living Space

If you have plenty of space on your patio or porch, use it to create a comfortable seating area. An outdoor rug, loveseat, chair and small table give buyers the idea that they could relax and entertain in this space. Colorful cushions in outdoor fabrics provide durable color and long-lasting wear the new owners can also enjoy. Make sure existing furniture is clean and maintained since moldy cushions and broken lawn chairs are not the upscale look you’re going for. 

The main point of curb appeal is to attract prospective buyers who can’t resist the charm of your home. This makes it far more likely they’ll like what the see on the inside.

Whether you are interested in buying a new home or refinancing your current property, your trusted home mortgage professional is available to help.

5 Reasons To Sell Your Home This Fall

5 Reasons To Sell Your Home This FallThough the real estate business never stops, most people associate its busy periods of the year with the spring and summer seasons. And while this is true to a large extent, those who think that selling a home in the fall is a bad decision are sorely mistaken.

Just as families want to get into new homes before the school year starts, which makes spring and summer busy seasons, there’s also an urgency to get into new homes prior to the holiday season. It’s one of the reasons why you shouldn’t hesitate to list your home in the fall season.

Here’s a look at five more reasons why it’s smart to list your home in the fall:

1. Demand Is Still There

It’s a seller’s market out there, which means that there’s still high demand for quality homes. So don’t think that buyers have put their searches on hold until next spring, because they’re still out there. You’ll take advantage of this continuous demand by listing in the fall.

2. You Can Enjoy The Summer

You can enjoy next summer, that is. Yes, while sellers that list in the spring and summer are constantly cleaning, tidying up and exiting the home for showings, you can get out ahead of the game this fall so you can spend next summer enjoying your next home. 

3. Buyers Are Serious

In the spring and summer months, it’s not unusual to get a lot of traffic from people who are thinking about buying. While any kind of activity is usually a positive, these types of would-be buyers aren’t exactly the strongest prospects to make an offer. With how busy the fall season is for many families, you’re likely to get showings with buyers who are serious, and thereby more likely to make an offer if they like what they see. 

4. You Can Enhance Your Curb Appeal

Fall is characterized by cooler temperatures and changing colors. The former can really help green up your lawn, while the latter can make your house stand out if there are trees on the property. Aside from your home, the fall foliage can also enhance the appeal of your entire neighborhood.

5. There’s Fewer Home Sellers

A final reason to list in the fall is that you’ll have less competition on the market. That is, there are fewer available homes. If your home is attractive and sought after, you can potentially create a bidding war among interested buyers, which can help you net more off the sale.

Your trusted real estate professional can give you all the tips and tricks to prepare for a successful fall listing.

How To Paint Your Home’s Exterior Walls

Paint your home's exterior to improve its curb appealWhen preparing to sell a home, few things improve its curb appeal more than a fresh coat of exterior paint.  

Many people are intimidated by the thought of painting their home’s exterior, and choose to hire a third-party to handle the work. But, you can do it yourself, with these easy steps.

First, before starting, you’ll want to inspect your home. Examine all walls, look under the eaves, and pay attention to door frames and windows.  Be on the lookout for peeling paint, mildew and rough surfaces and make a note of them.

Next, gather the tools you’ll need to do the job. These include :

  • A power washer
  • A 2-3” inch putty knife
  • A 2-3” inch pull scraper
  • A wire brush
  • A sander
  • Chlorine bleach

Then, to create a clean surface on which to paint, power-wash the walls with plain water. Detergents are not needed, and may not work as well as plain water, anyway.

Follow-up your wash with the putty knife and wire brush to remove the remaining paint. Note where paint has peeled, blistered or wrinkled. Avoid gouging the surface by holding the putty knife perpendicular to the wall, and by using moderate force.

For areas that won’t easily clean, use your pull scraper. It’s used the same way as the putty knife, but it has a sharp blade attached that quickly works through old paint.

Next, sand your home’s exterior smooth using a piece of sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block. An electric sander may be more effective for large areas; it’ll save you time and energy.

If during the cleaning process, you find mildew, be sure to remove it. A simple mix of chlorine bleach will do the job. Mildew will show through the new coat(s) of paint, so be sure to be rid of it before beginning.

Lastly, with your home cleaned and primed for paint, wait for “good painting weather” and get started. Soon you’ll be ready to list your home for sale.

Simple Fixes To Help Your Home Sell More Quickly

For sale signIf one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to sell your home, there are a few simple steps you can take to help prepare it for showings.

With a prospective buyer in mind, take a tour of your home, making a list of the good, the bad, and the not-so-bad. You may spot areas in need of major renovation; and areas which could benefit from just a basic touch-up.

It’s these latter areas which will likely yield the biggest return on your investment so, in preparation for making your home “buyer ready”, consider these steps.

Landscaping
The first thing a buyer will notice is the outside of your home. Sometimes called “curb appeal”, first impressions are very important to the sale of your home. Therefore, be sure to trim bushes, rake leaves, and clean up the yard in order to make your house seem more inviting. Clear unnecessary clutter from the yard and walkway to your home.

Bedrooms
Paint the walls of the room a light, neutral color to “open up” the space. Replace old light fixtures with new modern ones; replace all old bulbs; and consider adding a ceiling fan to each bedroom. This can increase the room’s appeal. 

Bathrooms 
If your tub has seen better days, have it resurfaced. Remove mildew stains in, or around, baths and showers. Replace stained silicone seal and grout, where needed. Check all light fixtures for burned out bulbs. Add lighting, if necessary, to make the bathroom brighter.

Kitchen
Your kitchen might also benefit from sprucing up. Do not gut-renovate your kitchen. Rather, refinish or paint its cabinets. Install new, clean-looking handles. Add a new back splash, if you think it will help. 

You’ll spend a small sum to make these improvements but the rewards can be more home showings, which can lead to more home offers, which can help you get the price you want for your property.

Your home may also sell more quickly.