Atmosphere is very important when your house is shown. Turn on all lights and lamps; maybe bake cookies and leave a plate sitting out with a note to please take one. Be sure to hide your dirty laundry from view (perhaps the back seat of your car).
Place fresh, spring flowers inside the house and out. You don't need to overdo it, just put them where the eyes tend to fall. Also replace the doormats after winter use. This easy tip will help your house stick out in a good way in the minds of the people who see it.
What a great time of year to decorate outside - nature is helping! Some bright mum plants sitting by your door with a pumpkin or two add instant charm and curb appeal. The colorful leaves that are on your lawn are not a bad thing as they bring the color down and around your house. It is a good idea to keep the leaves off your walk and porch as much as possible, though. That way it looks like you meant to have the lawn carpeted that way!
As soon as you decide that you might want to sell your house - even before you contact me - is the time to start "decluttering". If you wait until you know you're moving, you'll feel overwhelmed as you look around and you'll end up packing lots of stuff that you really should just get rid of. Time spent packing all that stuff is time wasted when you'd like to be working at your new home. In fact,lovely spring days are the perfect time to start looking through the things you have - the new beginnings all around you will put you right in the mood to tidy up!
When you're thinking about decorating for the holidays and trying to sell your house at the same time, look around your neighborhood. If all your neighbors have outdoor lights and decorations, your houlse will look pretty drab if you don't have any lights up. At the same time, keep the amount of outside decor on the conservative side, as you want people to see the house--not be blinded by the light. The same holds true for inside. Buyers will expect you to have a tree and some decor, but this is not the year to go overboard.
Curb appeal becomes more difficult in the late fall, but it is every bit as important as it ever was. Add some fall colors to your doorway. Keep leaves cleaned up. Consider fall decorations (such as corn stalks) around a lamp post or the end of a porch. Pumpkins or a bright mum plant add great color to the front of the house.
It's chrysanthemum time! Mum plants are available almost wherever you look. Choose colors that accent the front of your house and put a couple plants up by the door. Odd numbers are most pleasing to the eye, so either use one on each side or consider three on the side with the door handle. If you use three, place them at two different levels using a plant tray or a piece of brick or wood to raise the back one up a bit. You won't have to worry about frost if they're up by the house.
August is when the summer blahs can hit your curb appeal. It's hot and dry and flowers are apt to lose some of their pop. Be sure to dead-head annuals so they keep getting new blossoms. Keep the areas around your front door looking bright and cheerful. Some annual grasses are still available at nurseries. Consider using one in a pot up by the door if you don't have other flowers there.
If you're using rocks in your lawn or garden, remember that you should use odd numbers together, and 3 as a minimum. If you bury them 1/3, they'll look much more natural. If the area is sunny, you can use ornamental grasses interspersed with the rocks.
When you're ready to list your home, go through the house and open and close every door. Rest assured, a potential buyer will do just that! Apply WD-40 to any squeaky hinges. Adjust any doors that don't open or close properly. You want the beauty of your house to stick in your buyer's mind, not the doors!
If you're thinking about selling, now is the time to go out and stand in front of your house with a critical eye. Are there obvious signs of wear (chipped or faded front door, loose shutters, dirty eaves)? It may even be time to get a new front door. If you aren't planning to sell, think about how much fun it will be to drive up to your house that looks so spiffy!
The snow is gone and the flowers aren't up yet...what can you do to bring that all important curb appeal to your house? If you have your home on the market, it's a good idea to go outside a bit earlier than you normally would and clean up the winter debris. Get rid of the late matted leaves, the twigs, etc. If you beat your neighbors to the task your house will look even better in comparison.
Be sure to wipe off the bathroom and kitchen faucets and handles just before an open house or showing. With all the sparkle of the lights and decorations, shiny faucets will give them good competition.
No matter what time of year it is when you make the decision to sell your home, you need to try to see it through a new set of eyes - those of the buyer. Drive by your house and check it out. Is there some ´eyesore´ that catches your eye? Some elbow grease or a little paint may be enough to change the outside completely. Consider repainting the front door. That´s an area that always catches the eye - for good or bad. Make it look welcoming. Check out other homes in your area - what about them catches your eye? Maybe you can use those ideas to update your own house. If you´re having trouble with this idea, consider hiring a House Staging Specialist. They´re worth their weight in gold!
Sprucing up the interior of your house with a fresh coat of paint is a great idea. However, the paint smell can raise suspicion with some buyers. Add 3 drops of real vanilla extract to each gallon of paint used and the paint smell will be virtually unnoticeable.
Spring is a great time to enhance your "curb appeal". Many potential buyers will drive past your house before asking to see inside. Therefore, while they are at your curb, your house needs to appeal to them. A great way to do this is to add some spring perennials to the front of the house. After the long winter everyone is glad to see daffodils and tulips liven up front gardens. Most garden centers will have already growing plants that you can plant right into your front garden. Be sure to introduce them to the cooler temperatures gradually before planting, though.
Before showing your home each time and especially before open houses, clean the ceilings and light fixtures (look especially for cobwebs that need to go away). Buyers always "look up" when viewing a home´s interior. Before you show the house for the first time, fix cracks and paint the ceilings if necessary. If buyers see a water stain, they will assume that there is a problem even if you tell them it has been repaired.
If you have a pool, while your house is listed is not the time to keep it closed. Be sure the area around the pool is inviting. Have some pictures of the pool in use on the kitchen table or counter so the potential buyers can see how much fun it would be to own!
When preparing your house for showings, pay special attention to the kitchen and baths. These rooms are often clinchers when it comes to showcasing a well-maintained home. Just rub the faucets and mirrors with a towel to make shure everything shines!
You should think seriously about providing a home warranty when you list your house for sale. A home warranty provides you with peace of mind while the house is on the market because it covers repairs of almost every part of the house. It is also a great selling feature because it provides peace of mind for the buyer, who will automatically be covered for most repairs for the first year. All this for less than $500 - paid at closing (even if you have to use it before the house is sold!).
Does your front door need to be freshened? Remember it is the first impression people get. Make it warm and inviting. Paint it if is faded or peeling. Maybe a new handle would freshen it up?