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Curb Appeal Revealed

By Elizabeth Elstien

As a prospective homebuyer, you drive by a property that sounded like your dream home only to find a messy, unkempt front yard and peeling paint. Chances are you continue driving and never go inside.

The first impression your for-sale home makes on buyers is critical. If a home's exterior looks overgrown and out-of-control, potential buyers will drive right by perceiving the inside to be an equal disaster. Don't let buyers get away! Have a neat and trim exterior with areas that tempt buyers to come inside. Use the following tips to maximize curb appeal, as your budget allows.

  • Make sure your house number is prominently displayed and can be easily seen from the curb.
  • Power wash, stucco and/or repaint the exterior of your home to give it a clean and well-cared for appearance ? paint a neutral color that will appeal to more buyers.
  • Colorize by painting trim a contrasting color for a more dramatic effect ? a neutral color here, too.
  • Repair all fences, gates and latches to give a secure feeling.
  • Treat and/or repaint all wood posts, fences, etc. Replace any wood that is rotted or termite-ridden.
  • Give a sense of privacy by adding fences or hedges as barriers that can also control noise.
  • Trim all existing bushes, trees and hedges. Make sure they are properly watered.
  • Keep weeds at bay to keep the city away and show that your house is not abandoned.
  • Clean up all trash that may blow in or be otherwise deposited in the yard.
  • Pick up pet feces and pet toys on a routine basis to keep the yard looking and smelling its best.
  • Hide trash receptacles from the curb. Trash is not popular.
  • Have kids put outside toys away when finished playing with them.
  • Clean and repair any gutters to make them fit seamlessly in with the roof line.
  • Show off an attractive mailbox that's not an eyesore.
  • Arrange outside furniture around potted plants or a shade tree to create a few comfortable recreational and/or social areas.
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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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