The following is a guest post from Nigerian real estate developer Michael Chudi Ejekam.
When a home becomes a property for sale the owner must objectively look around and take care of his side of the business. Curb appeal should be improved before listing the house for sale. Failure to do so will affect the chance of a quick and profitable sale.
Therefore, the seller must understand that the potential of his house cannot always justify the sale price he has in mind. A seller can use some of these guidelines to take appropriate actions by playing the role of the realtor, or of the buyer, who sees the house for the first time. And, private house buyers in particular can use them as a check list.
The Curb Must Show Pride of Ownership
Often neglected is the street number which is what a first-time visitor will look for. Then, what has become invisible to the owner such as an obsolete television antenna on the roof, or Christmas lights in July, will be eyesores to the visitor.
Leaving garden debris or other rubble at the curb is a lack of consideration when a house is for sale. And, unless it is collection day, trash cans should be out of sight.
To repaint a gate or take care of squeaks is easier than repairing major cracks in retaining walls and pathways, but the visitor and the realtor will notice both.
Not to be neglected is the driveway, which should be cleared of what might be permanently left there. Because an unobstructed view of the house is important, as is space available, it is best not to have any vehicle in the driveway when a buyer is expected.
The Landscaping Must Show Tender Loving Care
A garden should enhance a house and draw the eyes to attractive surroundings. For this reason, bushes and hedges should be shaped, and vegetation in front of windows should be trimmed below the sills. Even if the landscape design is taken over by overgrowth, the addition of landscaping lighting under mature trees will pleasantly surprise the potential buyer who might want to drive by at night.
Stressed areas can be improved with bark-chips, rocks, or replanted. It makes sense to keep the lawn fertilized, watered and mowed, and to remove dead plants. Water leaks signal problems whereas a pond, a bench or other garden ornament please the eyes. Plants left in commercial plastic containers are unattractive and so is a tired seat on the porch.
The Front Door Area Must be Welcoming
Paths or stairs leading to the front door must be swept and not obstructed. A few solar garden lights are a welcoming touch for late showings. A negative sign while approaching the front door would be shutters, blinds or window treatment that are not hanging properly.
Garden shoes, untidy garden hoses, or empty containers don’t belong by the front door, but a few colourful attractive pots of seasonal flowers do.
Waiting for the door to open is when realtor and buyer have time to notice insect problems (ants, wasps, bee nests, spider webs). If eco-friendly solutions fail, an exterminator service might be the last resort.
A polished door handle, and door knocker will make a good impression. And, the best thing of all is an attractive new doormat as wide as the door.