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Sell home faster with increased exterior appeal

In trying to sell a home, first impressions are crucial. Potential buyers may take one look at the exterior and tell the real estate agent they do not even want to waste time looking at this one.

Some suggestions for sellers to prevent this from happening are to keep:

  • grass in good condition and cut, bushes well-trimmed, flower beds weeded, trash out of sight, clutter removed from yard
  • low hanging tree branches trimmed especially away from the roof, walls and windows
  • fences, gates and railings in good repair and recently painted or stained
  • roof and exterior walls clean by pressure washing if necessary
  • front doors painted a welcoming color, working well, with clean modern hardware and locks
  • welcome mats looking new
  • interior and exteriors of windows cleaned
  • gutters and downspouts well attached, cleaned and functioning
  • children's bikes and toys out of sight
  • driveways cleared of all vehicles if possible
  • garage doors closed
  • house numbers easily seen from the street, attractive and clean
  • porches, decks, sidewalks and driveways cleared of leaves and debris
  • potted plants by the front door, brightly flowering if possible
  • screens clean, fitted properly and free of tears
  • mailboxes empty and closed, clean and in excellent condition
  • windows caulked, fitting properly, closed, and with nothing other than light interior curtains hanging in front of them on the interior or exterior
  • hoses out of sight
  • all flags and signs other than a real estate sign taken down and out of sight
  • moss, mildew, rust and water stains off sidewalks, driveways, roof and walls of house
  • exterior lights in excellent condition and set to turn on at dusk and off at dawn
  • drapes and curtains in neutral colors that blend with house exterior colors
  • blinds up, shutters open and windows as free from covering as possible in daytime
  • basements free of moisture to prevent that dank odor
  • cats and dogs out of sight and hearing
  • yards free of pet waste
  • newspapers brought in as quickly as possible and picked up by someone when sellers are not at home
  • neighbor children (and adult neighbors) prevented from playing in yard
  • pools free of cracks, clutter, debris and crowded excess furniture
  • pool chemicals constantly checked with no signs of algae
  • entire home area as free of sounds as possible, including wind chimes and music
  • free of odors as in trash, compost bins, pet waste, smoke--especially tobacco, fertilizer, pesticides, cooked food--especially burned, dryer exhaust, gasoline and chemicals in garages and storage buildings, mildew, storm drains and sewage pipe exhaust.

Listing real estate agents should pass these suggestions on to their clients. Take a couple pictures from different angles and show them to other agents in the office asking their suggestions for any needed improvements they notice. Have all people and animals removed from the property prior to scheduled house showings whenever possible.