If you’re looking to sell your Staten Island home this summer, remember to factor in that old adage your grandparents (well, at least mine) taught you from a young age: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Now, this may not hold true across all life experiences, but when it comes to selling your home, trust me, it’s true. This is where curb appeal enters the equation. After all, your home’s exterior and the potential buyer’s experience from sidewalk to front door are where it all begins.
We’ll take a look at a few simple and affordable steps you can take to boost your home’s curb appeal, but before we do, let me mention the importance of quality pictures for your online listing. Because 88 percent of buyers turn to the web for the initial steps of their search, quality pictures are a must. If you prepare your house inside and out, but fall short on pictures, you eliminate potential buyers before they ever leave their laptop.
When shooting pictures outside (and inside), take time of day and lighting into consideration, aiming for pictures that accent the positive and unique features of your home. And remember to clear the clutter—bicycles, baseball bats, and bags of potting soil lined up along the side of the house need to go. The outside of your home is a peek into what a buyer will find inside, and if their interest isn’t piqued by the outside, chances are slim that you’ll get them inside. Ever drive by a house and say, “Nah, just don’t like it”? The exterior of your home is going to be viewed in a similar fashion. Yep, first impressions in real estate are that critical.
Okay, let’s take a closer look at the areas on which you’ll want to focus your simple and affordable curb appeal boost.
Front Door - If you’ve been putting off replacing your front door because you know you’re going to sell, think again. A good front door is a good investment. The entry to your home is considered a top priority when it comes to boosting curb appeal. A quality door conveys security and stability, which homebuyers will notice. And if your door adds a stylish and well-cared for touch, even better. Sometimes all you’ll need is a bucket and a wet rag or that old can of paint stored in the basement. But if it’s time to replace, go for it.
Front Patio (Entry) Area - Take a look at your porch light fixture, the one above the front door that lights your way every night but you’ve long forgotten to notice. Does it need that same bucket and wet rag? Paint? Replacing the tired white look with a splash of color might be just the right touch for your entry area. And speaking of color, if space permits, a potted flower can add a nice touch when on a budget.
Take a look at your welcome mat. Is it showing the wear and tear of summers past? This is an inexpensive item to replace. Ditto your house numbers. Are they visible from the street? Are they stylish? And let’s not forget your mailbox. Sounds simple, I know. These are a few things you see day in and day out, but your potential buyer will be seeing them for the first time. What is seen on the outside influences what your buyer anticipates seeing on the inside.
Lawn & Garden - Here’s another key place for color and care. If your garden beds are in bloom, perfect. Just remove the weeds and other debris and you’re good to go. If you need to add a splash of color, bedding plants are a good solution. If you’re selling a large home with an expansive garden, then you’ll want to consider groupings of bushes and larger flowering plants that make a statement from the street. You’ll want to keep ease of maintenance in mind as well. If you’re selling a modest home with a small garden (or no garden), then a few plants, whether in pots or in the ground, will add appealing color. Remember, too, to regularly mow and trim the lawn. Again, if your home is well-cared for on the exterior, chances of showing off your interior are vastly improved.
Once you’ve cleared the clutter, added color and addressed small repairs/replacements, take your first set of pictures. View them as a buyer. Ask a friend to do the same. In fact, ask a friend to walk around the entire exterior of your home, taking it in as a buyer. A second set of eyes can help you notice the things to which you’ve become accustomed but might be a turnoff to your buyer—rain gutters or downspouts in poor repair, squeaky screen door, dirty or streaked windows, etc. Like the tired entry light, look for the little things you can address easily and affordably.
Creating affordable curb appeal is a key step toward a quick sale for top dollar. Now get going. And have fun!
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This information, based on New York law, was provided courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher J. Arrigali, P.C. It is intended to inform, not to advise. No one should try to interpret or apply any law without the assistance of legal counsel.