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Preparing the exterior of your home for sale

This article explains everything you need to do for the exterior of your home in preparing it for sale. If you follow the checklist, you will sell you home faster & for more money.

Are you thinking about putting your home on the market, or has it been there for a while already? You must think of your home now as a product. Nothing is for free in this world. If you want it sold fast for a reasonable amount of money, listing your home means there is work to be done. The harder you work on your property, the better the rewards. Below is a checklist of improvements to consider for the exterior of your home. In fact, if you follow this checklist, you may no longer want to leave your beautiful home! Some of these may or may not pertain to your home, but that just means you get to check them off faster!

  • Spruce up you yard! A well maintained yard can be very inviting. Not only that, but no buyer wants to move in with yard work to do. There are many different things at which you may need to look.
    • Edge around landscaping beds, sidewalks, and driveways.
    • Weed and add mulch to your landscaping beds.
    • Trim your bushes and trees.
    • Make your lawn green! Mow, fertilize, and water your grass as needed.
    • Get the buyers excited about your home by adding a few colorful plants and flowers.  Color invokes excitement.
  • Donít just wash your floors, wash your house. You can take years off of your home by getting rid of the mildew and dirt. Spray on a mixture of bleach and water to hose off all of the grime. Youíll be amazed!
  • Wash the driveway too! Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, this is a must.
  • If you have a paintable surface on the outside of your home, how does it look? Painting is the most cost effective way to improve your home. Whether it is a door, trim work, the deck, or the whole home, seriously consider updating the color used. The results will be astonishing!
  • Get your entryway in order. If you have ever looked at homes with a realtor, you know how long you find yourself standing in front of the door while he or she is trying to get the key. There are just a few things to do here.
    • Invest $6 in a new door mat. It will be worth it.
    • Clean the bugs out of the light fixture and wipe down cob webs.
    • Clean the windows and the door.
    • Add a real plant. Make it an interesting one so they donít notice the cob webs above them.
  • Are there items around the outside of your home that you no longer use? Whether it is a swing set, old car, or just plain garbage, throw it or give it away!
  • Do you have room to add a deck or patio? Todayís homebuyers are very interested in outdoor living. In a sense, by adding a deck or patio, you are adding livable space. If you already have one, make sure it comes across as comfortable and inviting.
  • Add outdoor lighting. This can be an inexpensive project that will show you have gone the extra mile. The buyers do generally look during the day; however, they will know it is something they will not have to do. Also, an interested buyer may drive past at night. What better way for them to see your home but with a softly lit landscape?
  • Do you have outdoor pets? Make sure you canít tell that you do! Replace damaged grass, clean up the poop, and pick up the toys, whatever is required to make sure they donít notice you have four-legged loved ones. If the potential buyers do not have pets, they might not find a large chewed-up bone laying in the front yard so cute. Do make sure when you are showing the house to put your pet outside on a leash.
  • How is the appearance of your fence? If it is not in great condition, paint it, replace it, or take it out. An unattractive fence can not only make your property look dated, but also poorly maintained.
  • If you have an older home, are there things you are considering for replacement?
    • Install a new door. Although it might cost a bit, if you buy a stunning door it will set your home apart from the others.
    • If your home is 15 years or older, you may consider new windows. Not only can they update and improve the looks, but they are also more energy efficient than older windows.
    • How old is your roof? If has been there for more than 20 years, it would be wise to replace it. Home buyers will take the expense of an old roof into account. If it is not old, but looks dirty, consider cleaning it. Cleaning solution for this can be purchased at your local hardware store and will cost much less than replacing it.
    • Is your mailbox unsightly? If it looks like the neighborhood kids took a baseball bat to it or just simply weathered, replace it! It is a small price to pay to keep your home looking well maintained.

These are all things that can improve the salability of your home. Think about it this way: what is the first thing you do when going to trade in your car? Hopefully, you clean it to get the most money for your trade in. You need to do the same with your home, which is a much larger investment. By checking off most, if not all, of the items on the checklist, you will have a clean and presentable home ready for sale. Good luck and wear gloves!

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Christy McCarthy is a Home Stager & Interior Redesigner in Jacksonville, Florida. She started her own business, Interiors Revitalized, in 2006. Graduating from Harrington College of Design, she acquired a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. If you would like to learn more about her business please visit the website-

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