Curb Appeal Guide

Have you ever thought about how your home looks to potential buyers? Go across the street and look up. Often the eaves-troughs, roof, and chimney are visible from the far side of your street. Do they need maintenance or repair? Does your house have painted elements that are in need of attention? Now scan down to street level again. Is your landscaping neat, tidy and weed-free? Look at your driveway, garage, and entryway: the porch, steps, railings, and front door.

The overall impression you want your house to give is, “Welcome! Come on in!” Your home needs to look super inviting to attract buyer interest. Curb Appeal is a major part of getting people through the front door. It starts online when your home is first viewed. Here is a list of areas to assess and address to improve your home’s first impression.

Curb Appeal Checklist

Decks and porches and other outdoor living spaces are big selling features. Make sure they look their best. Are any railings up to code? If your deck, porch or walkway is moss-covered green or dirty grey, pressure washing is the simple answer to restoring its original condition. If some boards are split or rotted out, replace them before you pressure wash.

Inspect painted surfaces around doors, windows and trim at your front entrance. This is where prospective buyers form their first impression of your home. If it’s aged, weathered, and uncared for, people may assume the inside of the home has also been neglected. Open your garage. Is it clean and organized? Shelving will tidy things up by getting them off the floor and out of the way. Sell, donate or dispose of unneeded items, so buyers don’t get the impression that there is insufficient storage space.

Trees should be pruned and neat looking with all the weeds pulled between the patio stones. If time allows, plant flowers, repair sod areas, add mulch, and water everything well.

Is the basement damp or does it smell musty? Are there cracks in exposed foundation walls, or signs of current or past water infiltration? All of these are ‘red flag’ issues for purchasers and should be fixed before the house goes on the market.

Did you know that more than 50% of homeowner’s insurance claims today are water-related? How much rain falls on the 1,000 square foot roof area of the typical home? All this water is directed through eaves-troughs and downspouts, which should extend at least 6 feet away from your home’s foundation. Grading around your home should slope away so water can’t run back towards your foundation. Many water problems in your basement can be eliminated by simply directly water away from your house.

Dave’s Been-there, Done-that: Our customer called us for water infiltration after a sudden heavy downpour. We’d installed a backwater prevention valve in his sewer line three years earlier after he’d had basement flooding due to sewer back-up, so this was very unusual. We were concerned so I went over right away. I brought my top plumber in, and we scoped out the drain to try and source the problem. The backwater valve was working. In fact, the water in the basement was clean – it wasn’t from the sewer. We found that two of three downspouts were directed right into the foundation. They should have been running away from the house. We redirected them, and the problem was solved.

Selling your home can be a very stressful time, but our customers give us hugs and high fives! They tell us they feel like we lifted the weight of the whole world from their shoulders, and made the moving experience much less painful. Those who embrace their new minimalist environments even say they feel lighter and, with fewer possessions to care for, clean and maintain, have more free time to enjoy themselves.

Upgrading your home, then reaping the extra dollars on resale might just be the cheapest tax-free money you ever make. At Prep ’n Sell™, our “One Call Does it All” approach helps take the needless stress out of selling your home.


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