By Nina Doiron
As I walk about my neighbourhood, I love to see how milder weather is bringing more people outdoors and enjoy watching the gardening that is happening everywhere. Our local garden centre is humming with carts filled with planters and garden supplies. Many of these homeowners love getting their hands dirty in their gardens, but you can tell that they also love to beautify their home both inside and outside.
Unfortunately, this is not true for everyone, and what you see on the outside can often tell you a lot about what’s going on inside as well. It’s important that those preparing to sell know they must pay as much attention to the exterior of their house as the interior. First impressions matter, so make them count. Potential buyers form their ideas about a home quickly and instinctively, and you want them to feel positively about the property you’re representing from the start.
Here are nine curb appeal areas you and your clients need to pay attention to:
- Clean the siding, front door, windows, porch, driveway and walkway with a power washer to clear the winter’s dirt, dust and cobwebs
- Clear out dead plants and shrubs from garden beds and planters
- Plant frost-hardy plants like hostas, begonias, pansies and sedums
- Add fresh mulch to the garden bed
- Weed and mow the lawn regularly
- Fix any uneven interlocking stones
- Repaint the porch or stair railings
- Makes sure no weeds are poking out from the edge of driveways and patios
- Repair cracks and reseal the driveway
I recommend looking at your curb appeal from across the street. This will give you a panoramic view of what the front of the house looks like. Take a few photographs and have the clients look at them carefully. See if anything appears out of place or requires a bit more attention.
If the house is an investment property and is vacant, make sure you make the time to visit it once a week to tend to the front and backyard. If you can’t be there, hire a yard maintenance service on behalf of your clients to take care of this. If your client is not able to take care of their curb appeal, you need to take matters into your own hands. After all, it’s your name and brand on the lawn sign for all to see.
Selling a house is never just about setting up the sign and forgetting about it until it sells. Regular maintenance to both the inside and the outside is necessary to ensure that everything shows well no matter when potential buyers drop in. Make that first impression of the property and of your brand matter.