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How to create curb appeal on a budget

How to create curb appeal on a budget

ask phyllis a real estate question

Dear Phyllis,

My aunt passed away and I am therefore, the executor of her estate. I live in Northern California and don’t have time to do much before it gets on the market. I don’t mind doing a little but don’t want to invest too much money or effort.

Dear Robert,

I recently had a client in a situation similar to yours. The executor lived in Boston and he hired me early in the process. Before the home was on the market, I met with several landscapers and coordinated the cleaning, pruning and planting. The sooner you engage the services of a Realtor, the sooner they can begin working for you. Above all, make sure the Realtor you hire agrees in writing to help you coordinate any work to be done.

Creating curb appeal is likely the simplest and most cost effective way to maximize buyer interest in your aunt’s home. Below are my top nine tips to create curb appeal:

1. Trim shrubs and trees in the front yard; certainly, a home buyer should be able to see your home’s architectural features (that beautiful picture window). Tidy up the yard: put away hoses, trash cans, etc.

2. Remove the screen door (if any) and dress up the front porch with a plant (if room). Also wash the windows leave the screens in the garage.

3. If the mailbox is visible from the curb, ensure that it is attractive.

4. Repaint any peeling trim or exterior paint. Prior to selecting paint colors, consult with your Realtor® or home stager for color selection.

5. Define the approach: Add a stone walkway or path leading to the house, or define with plants or flowers.

6. Ensure any automatic lights along the house and walkways light as it gets dark.

7. When visible from the street, replace your tired looking garage door with a new one. Also, remember to keep the door style in tune with your home’s architectural style.

8. How does the driveway look? Is it cracked? If so consider repair or resurface.

9. Add details such as shutters and/or decorative molding. Make boring windows come alive and (depending on the homes style) define the architecture with shutters or ironwork.

Imagine the real estate agent at the front door fumbling with the lock box while the home buyer is looking at the neighborhood. What do they see? Is there trash in the street? Is the neighbor’s lawn overgrown? Finally, look around and discuss with your real estate agent how you can increase the home’s curb appeal.

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