If you need to sell your home quickly – you have to deal with the front and back yards
You need to sell your house, and you need to sell it quickly. You know there are repairs and cosmetic problems inside your home that you need to take care of – new paint, new carpets, new flooring, etc. etc. – but did you know that a real estate agent is going to stand in your front yard first and tell you that you’ll never sell your home because your yard isn’t up to snuff?
Why? Because selling Your Home quickly takes “Curb Appeal.”
That’s right – according to the experts the outside of your home – or the “curb appeal” – can kill the sale of your house even before a potential buyer steps inside the front door. First impressions really are everything, whether you’re interviewing for a job, meeting a blind date, or buying a home, and statistics show that people reach a dominant conclusion based on what they see in the first 12 seconds. That’s right, much of the time a buyer has reached some decision about whether or not they want to buy your home by the time they’ve parked their car and set the parking brake.
Real estate agents actually do know a lot about what they’re doing, and a lot of what they tell you is based on proven data. Yes, buyers want to see landscaping that will add resale value, yes, good landscaping can add more than 15 to20% to the overall value of a house, and yes – good landscaping can cut the time your home spends on the market by 10%, but all any of this really means is:
Potential buyers want a house that looks pretty – and they will start with the front yard
Period. That’s it. 97.899% of people want to buy a house that looks nice. Even house flippers – who are looking for disastrous houses that they can buy for next to nothing so they can fix them and then flip them for a profit – are discouraged by a home that’s truly terrifying. The worse a house looks, the lower the price you will get for it. So – selling a house for any kind of decent sum – even if its below market – means making it look pretty – inside and out.
Here’s what you need to do to get some “curb appeal”
HGTV has an entire program devoted to improving the “curb appeal” of a home, and when there’s an entire program devoted to one area of home improvement – you can bet it’s important. Watch one half-hour program, or scan any site devoted to home selling, and you’re going to come up with the following list of “TIPS TO SELL YOUR HOME QUICKLY:”
- Clean up yard, rake, trim, mow
- Remove all trash
- Remove all children’s equipment and toys
- Green up the lawn; reseed, install sod, or paint grass
- Plant shrubs in beds
- Plant flowers in beds
- Plant flowers in pots
- Plant one or more trees if there aren’t any in front or back yards
- Install solar-powered lights along walkways and planting beds
- Hide outdoor garbage cans
- Repair, paint and/or stain wood fencing
- Repair rust or sagging in chain link fencing
- Repair or replace gates
- Repair or replace all gate fixtures and latches
- Repair or replace porch lighting
- Buy a new front door; repair or re-paint old one
- Replace the garage door; stain or re-paint old one
- Paint the outside, or replace damaged siding
- Pressure wash the outside of the home and/or the roof
- Pressure wash and bleach the driveway and sidewalks
- Paint the mailbox
- Put up a flag
- Put up seasonal decorations
As with almost every single item on your “to-do” list to sell your home starts with a good clean-up. When it comes to a yard, you’ll need to make sure clear all trash, leaves, and dead plantings. The yard and any graveled pathways or mulched beds should be raked well. Prune trees and bushes, weed flowerbeds, and make sure to keep the grass mowed.
Green up the lawn
Georgia’s climate makes maintaining a lush green lawn challenging, but unfortunately a dead or dormant lawn can reduce a homes property value by as much as 5% to 12%, which means that a green lawn can be an important selling factor. If you have an established lawn that is simply brown and patchy in places, re-seeding is the best way to go. There are innumerable sources to help you do this work yourself.
Adding fresh redwood mulch around planting beds, and some new gravel to graveled paths and areas will go a long way toward making your yards look well-cared for, and when it comes to selling a home – making sure it looks “well-cared for” can mean thousands of dollars.
Children’s toys and equipment – to store or not to store?
If you have children, be sure that all toys, bikes, basketball hoops, etc. are cleared and stowed out of sight, preferably in their own storage space in the garage or carport. In most instances, basketball hoops, trampolines, and swing sets should also be removed.
But here’s an interesting consideration for certain homeowners, however: if you are extremely close to an elementary school, then prospective buyers are likely to have children as well, because a home where children can walk to school is exceedingly attractive. For couples with young children, a basketball hoop and a swing set will be seen as a positive and show the home well. Just make sure they’re sturdy and new looking, so paint them if necessary. An exception would be a trampoline. Even if your home is next door to a school, you should take a trampoline down, as it is often seen as a danger, as well as an activity that requires constant adult supervision. On the other hand, retiree’s or empty-nesters aren’t likely to be interested in a home that is very near any kind of school; they are put off by the possible noise and irritation factor.
Repair/replace all fencing, walls, and gates
If you have fencing around your property, make sure it’s in good condition. Georgia holds the distinction of being the state with the highest percentage of dog owners; According to ABC News, 47.9% of families in the Phoenix area have a dog, so a home without adequate fencing will lower your home’s value.
Fences are also seen as an indication of safety and security. In psychological studies done on preferred living conditions, broken or sagging fences project the image of a lower socio-economic, higher crime area, no matter where the home is actually located or how much the home is actually worth. So, if your fencing isn’t up to snuff, it gives your home an aura of neglect. Again, bad news for upgrading a homes value.
If your fencing is chain link, hiring someone to fix sagging, rust, and damage is your best bet. Chain link is difficult to work with, it takes special tools and strength, and it’s often a two-person job to get it done correctly.
If you have fences or low border walls that are made out of stone or brick, very minor repairs can be done with matching bricks, stones, and quick-setting concrete. If your fencing is wooden, a fresh coat of stain or paint can make your yard “pop,” and look like you’ve spend thousands on landscaping.
In different parts of the country different home features have different monetary values – and can add value to a home’s selling price – or knock it down. For example, in the east, Midwest, and northern states – fireplaces are a big plus and will raise a home’s value, whereas pools are a big minus, and will bring the home’s values down.
In Georgia, it’s pretty much the reverse, however. Currently, fireplaces aren’t all that popular, and can actually detract from a home’s value, but pools are almost a must-have thanks to Georgia’s climate and triple-digit summers. Phoenix, Hawaii, and Miami are actually the only cities in the U.S. where having a pool will generally raise a home’s value by as much as 7%. The average cost of installing a pool runs between $14,500 and $22,000, however, so it’s not something you’re going to be looking at if you’re trying to sell your home because you need the money.
So the bottom line is that a pool is a potential money-maker – but only if it’s in good shape. If it’s not – then it’s a liability and will drag your property value down.
Unfortunately, pools are one of those areas where DIY repair is virtually impossible.
That same pool costs about $2,000 more a year to maintain, hundreds more to heat and insure and hundreds more in filter and pump repairs within less than a decade. When cracks inevitably appear, resurfacing can cost upward of $10,000 shortly after that first decade.
Sure, the National Association of Realtors’ National Center for Real Estate Research says an in-ground pool can add about 8% to a home’s resale price, but that value swings from 6% in the frosty Midwest to 11% in the most toasty Sun Belt. An aboveground pool with have cheaper upfront costs, but the Center for Real Estate Research says it adds no value to a house and can actually subtract 1.9% of a house’s value if the buyer decides the eyesore needs to come down.
When it comes to selling a home – the first impression is literally – everything. When there’s an entire show called “Curb Appeal” that focuses only on how to “fix up” the front of your house, you know it’s important.
So look at your home with a critical eye. How does it “stack up” compared to other homes around the neighborhood? Is your driveway cracked or stained? Front entry, yard, driveway, sidewalks, etc.
And remember – you can always just skip the headache and sell us your house. We’ll pay cash, close fast and we don’t require ANY repairs.