Why they’re driving by and not stopping

It’s the over grown bushes. The peeling paint. The dead potted plants on the porch. These are things you’ve been overlooking for so long that you hardly notice them. But potential buyers do notice.

Buyers think these small things to fix mean bigger repairs are lurking. Maybe there are other things in the house that have also been neglected. They’ll drive right past your house to find another home that’s less work to fix up. Your home becomes known as “that house with the dead plants on the porch” instead of the home with the spacious rooms and beautiful kitchen.

Some basic tools and a few hours on a weekend can get the front of your home in top showing condition. Walk up your driveway or front steps just as prospective buyers will be doing. Take a picture and examine every detail closely. Look for signs of wear, tighten loose bolts, replace light bulbs and declutter your front porch. Give every surface a heavy cleaning and patch holes or paint as needed.

Regardless of the season, your yard needs attention. In the winter, keep your drive, walk and steps clear of snow and ice. Making your surfaces spotless, even in cold weather, projects an image of cleanliness and order. This also reduces the chances of slips and falls when hosting open house.

In the warmer months, it takes more effort to keep the yard looking manicured. Be sure to keep the lawn tidy and use a few colorful potted plants near the door to make your porch more inviting. Potted annual plants only cost a few dollars and should be replaced if they get unruly or dry out from the heat. Before the first frost, retire your plants and place some pumpkins on your porch for seasonal interest.

If you had only $100 to spend to spruce up your front yard and entrance, consider purchasing some solar landscaping lights, new house numbers, a new mailbox and paint for the front door. A nice coat of paint can freshen your entire entry and hide any imperfections on your front door. This small investment could go a long way in securing a buyer for your home.

The final step in your home’s mini make over is to take another picture from the curb. How does it compare now to other homes on the market?

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