Janis Peterson, GRI, ABR, CSP Realtor®
Philadelphia Main Line Homes and Real Estate
Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester Counties
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What is "Curb Appeal"?
Question: What is "curb appeal", and what do curbs have to do with selling my house?
Answer: "Curb appeal" is the term used to describe how your home looks to agents, prospective buyers and anyone else window shopping from the curb or sidewalk. It's a first impression -- and we all have first impressions about people, and especially homes. Without "curb appeal," prospective buyers will never come inside.
So how do you make sure your property has "curb appeal"? First, by making sure lawns and shrubs are well-trimmed, the front of the house has a clean, fresh appearance, and the mailbox is attractive and functional. (Believe it or not, a rusty, unhinged mailbox can turn people off.)
Oftentimes, when a homeowner has lived in one location for many years, curb appeal is overlooked. Step back from your curb and look closely at the property.
In sprucing up the property, watch out for adding too much "gingerbread." That term in real estate parlance is for overuse of ornamentation, particularly around windows outside, or in the form of gaudy knickknacks or artwork inside.
To attract maximum interest, the house should have a neat, trim appearance that's both open and inviting. The exterior should be cleaned well with strong soap and water, or freshly painted (white) if it has a drab appearance. (According to a survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), white homes sell faster than others.) Painting the outside trim or window frames lively shades of red, green or blue can add luster to the exterior.
If you have a front porch, consider adding an attractive porch swing or window boxes to the lower level windows. On top, your roof should show no signs of peeling or cracking. Gutters and downspouts should be in good repair and cleaned out regularly. If you live in a warm-weather climate, consider adding wicker furniture, potted plants or a hanging basket to the patio.
Maintaining and enhancing the landscape is vital to maintaining curb appeal. Lawns and shrubs should be cut and manicured regularly and flowers planted. Consult your local nursery for the bright-blooming varieties and when they are in season. Red or white ivy geraniums are ideal for parkways and red or white tree roses spruce up the walkways.
Remember, "curb appeal" may not sound like much, but it can add a great deal to the value and marketability of your home.
"Real Service in Real Estate." For a personal consultation on buying or selling real estate, Janis Peterson, GRI, ABR, CSP Realtor® can be reached at (610) 642-3744, e-mail: email@example.com. Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors® is an independently owned and operated member of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.
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