How to Use Curb Appeal to Sell Your Home
Curb appeal is the most important challenge you'll face when selling your home. You must make home shoppers feel like getting out of their car to see what's behind the front door. Imagine prospective buyers driving up and examining your property for the first time. Your goal is to have them exclaim, "What a darling home!" Or, "What a splendid house." Curb appeal has grown up, and using innovative Design Psychology techniques for marketing homes puts curb allure to work, enticing buyers to come inside your home. One way to make your home outshine the others on the market, upgrading your exterior, doesn't have to cost you a lot of money.
Restore, the outlet store for Habitat for Humanity, resells donated home building materials. They sell light fixtures, window hardware, paint, house numbers, and even white picket fencing. Restore also lets you bargain on merchandise, which means that the tagged price isn't always the final price. You can even sign up for Restore's mailing list and receive notices of half-price sales. We found a great exterior light fixture at Restore for one of our fixers for only $25.
The same fixture, available at our local home building supply outlet, sells for $99. Suppliers and Exquisite Details To sell your home for the highest profit, you need to spend less for improvements to make more; yet spending a little extra can yield significantly more return on your money. Adding exquisite details can add dollars to your bank account. For instance, if you don't find what you're looking for at a bargain price, visit an upscale retailer and look for similar items on sale. If you use ugly, cheap, or tacky fixtures, you'll actually make it harder to sell your home by lowering your home's curb appeal. Think of it this way: spending $100 more for a quality light fixture will save you at least one, and possibly more, mortgage payment. That means that your $100 fixture was really an investment, rather than an expense. Curb Appeal: Create Inviting Access to Your Home An alluring home setting begins with the access to your home. A problem with many newer homes is that developers don't provide a separate walkway to the front door. You don't want to make buyers walk around cars and trip over driveway edges to navigate to your front door.
If you have no dedicated walkway to the front door, add a simple pathway. A wandering pathway to the front door psychologically feels more inviting than a straight-shot walkway. If you have a plain, straight concrete walkway, create undulating flower beds on either side to encourage a relaxed, friendly feeling. Adding a water feature near your entry walk also enhances the ambiance because moving water relaxes the body and mind and refreshes the spirit. You want to create a feeling of balance and harmony, like that found in nature. Welcome Buyers with Friendly Accessories: * Wind chimes add pleasure to your buyers' sense of hearing. * Potted plants, such as flowers or soft ferns, are friendly, but avoid spiked plants with thorns near the doorway. * Floral baskets with bright yellow and white flowers show up best day and night. * A pair of rocking chairs, a double glider, or a porch swing will convey a friendly neighborhood and invite potential buyers to sit and chat. * A welcome mat also adds a homey touch.
Avoid Unwelcoming Attributes * Repair cracks in the driveway with cement epoxy. * Clean spider webs off eaves, windows and porch. * Repair or replace broken doorbells. * Clean or replace dirty or burnt out exterior lights. Buyers forgive little inadequacies in your home if they love it from the first time they see it. So go a few extra steps beyond curb appeal and lure your prospective buyers inside with Design Psychology methods. Take a little extra time and spend just a bit more money, to sell your home fast, and for more money. Copyright © 2005 Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.
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