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Enhancing Curb Appeal - Sell your Home Fast

May 20, 2008
Have you cleaned your house thoroughly, staged it perfectly, and repainted the living room? Excellent! Now, let's make sure people actually see it. Curb appeal is the most significant thing you can enhance to increase your home's chances of selling, especially in a more challenging market. Houses that would otherwise sell in a heartbeat become victim to an instant emotional judgment that sounds something like this: "Oh, keep driving. Next!" You want to insure that the instant emotional reaction is more like this: "Wow! I can't wait to see inside." Okay, did I sell you yet on how important this is? Let's get to work.

The first thing you must do to enhance curb appeal is the hardest, which is to become an objective observer. You have lived in your home for many years, through good times and bad times. Now you need to no longer look at your house as a home but as a commodity. Buyers are looking at a lot of houses right now and don't have an emotional connection to any of them. You must enter the psychology of a buyer. Ask yourself these questions:

Look at your house. What is your first impression? What do your eyes see first? Better yet, ask a friend to do this. Is someone walking their dog past your house as you are doing this exercise? Ask them!

Pretend you were thinking of buying this house. What, in an ideal situation, would you ask the seller to fix or improve first just looking at the outside? If you had an unlimited budget, what would you want to do to the landscaping, exterior? Now think about how to enhance the good things and minimize the bad things without spending a lot of money.

Cleanliness is the single most important issue affecting curb appeal. Make sure the exterior of the house is as clean as possible. If the exterior is in bad cosmetic condition, a new paint job is ideal and can usually make up for itself in a gain in equity and speed of sale. Short of that, cleaning the exterior is the next best thing.

Landscaping is next on the list. There is no need to go overboard with landscaping but a few simple things convey to buyers that the current owner really cares about the home and has kept it in good condition. Below I have included checklists for enhancing the home and landscaping for curb appeal.

Beyond those items, some other things that make a big difference are replacing the front door with one that is more attractive and making sure that the backyard is also looking good, especially if any of it is visible from the car. Nighttime is also something to think about. Installing some decorative, preferably solar, walkway lights and making sure there is an attractive front porch light fixture will enhance the look and feel of the entire exterior.

Follow these simple checklists and sell your home more quickly!

Easy Curb Appeal Checklist:

. Clean all windows.
. Clean all gutters.
. Pressure Wash exterior (or get a new paint job!).
. Kill all mold and mildew (make sure to have a mold specialist check mold problems).
. Make sure any part of the interior of the house that is visible from the curb looks warm and inviting.

Easy Landscaping Checklist:

. Mow the lawn, clear weeds.
. Remove all weeds growing between sidewalk and walkway cracks.
. Rake all leaves.
. Trim back trees and bushes
. Edge sidewalks
. If possible, add some plants or flowers to beautify the landscape.
. Also, sometimes it is best to remove plants or flowers rather than add them.
About the Author
Come learn more about the great city of Portland, Oregon and all its communities. Lorri Ely is Co-Owner of
http://www.PortlandNeighborhood.com, a website featuring all the great neighborhoods of Portland Oregon.
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