How to Prep your home for sale and make it Pop - "On The Cheap"..............
This will be a series blog that I will be writing. There is alot of information on this, so we will be discussing this in parts. This week, let's talk about curb appeal.
It's a very competitive buyer's market out there these days, and most of the time the difference between getting your home sold and getting those net proceeds in your pocket, and letting your home sit there and petrify is a combination of two things:
2. How nicely the home shows
ANY seasoned agent out there will tell you that even in our current market, if a home is priced fairly and shows well, it moves fairly quickly.
Any yes, money is scarce these days so you may be telling yourself that you are completely open to prepping your home for the market, but you really don't have alot of money to spend.
Well, believe it or not, it doesn't take a boatload of money to make your home show nicely.
All you really need to do is zoom in on the most important things, and keep a strong focus on the visual points that are the most apparent.
Curb Appeal - I cannot begin to tell you how this is the most important factor in selling your home. I don't care if you have only 12 dollars and 35 cents to spend on prepping your home. If that is truly the case, then spend all $12.35 on the curb appeal of your home!!
If you have a front lawn, which most homes do, make sure it is GREEN. The simplest answer to that is water daily, sometimes twice a day, for 3-4 weeks prior to the home coming on the market. Most lawns, if it is looking a little brown and dry, will come back to life during that period if you water frequently. If possible, I prefer hand watering. Why? Because not only does it save water by allowing you to water in just the right places with just the right amount according to which areas need it the most, but it does not waste water by sprinkler head throwing mist into the air and ending up giving your neighbors lawn, or dog for that matter, a nice refreshing mist!!
If you're lawn is in really bad shape and very patchy with bare spots, then you may want to think about either re-sodding or re-seeding.
Sodding is beautiful and instant. By sodding, you can literally have a lush, green lawn overnight. But it is the more expensive of the two. Most people hire landscapers to sod their lawn, but with some extra labor hands, you can actually do it yourself. It's alot of work to dig up your old lawn and lay sod, but if you have the time and money to do it, the lawn will look like a million.
Re-seeding is another alternative. It's very inexpensive to purchase grass seed and "topper" or fertilizer designed specifically for re-seeding.
The import things to note about re-seeding is that the young blades of grass that will grow will only have a fighting chance during certain seasons of the year, which are typically spring and fall, depending on what region you live in. If you are going to re-seed, then do it at least 5-6 weeks before going on the market. This will allow enough time for the young blades of grass to grow and go through the first mowing to be ready for showing.
Plants - the landscaping of the front of your home is very important. You do not want any plants that are looking like they've got one foot in the grave to be showing. You can easily keep the bill for new plants and some garden soil under $200, and based on the size of your frontal area, that should suffice in most cases.
It is very important to choose plants that are not only right for your climate, but those where the priority is heartiness, and not necessarily the "prettiest". What you do not want is to choose plants and shrubbery that are very pretty, but at the same time very sensitive. You do not want to end up with a bunch of dead plants and have to spend more time and money replacing them.
That is why I recommend such plants as Golden Euonymous, Foxtail Ferns, Wax Leaf Privet, Lantana, and certain ornamental grasses. Plants like these are not only nice looking and colorful, but they are fairly drought tolerant and hearty. They are typically not as sensitive as most other plants. And they can be purchased at most Home Depot, Lowe's or other local home improvement chains, in the garden section. And unless you live in a desert region, DON'T use desert-type succulent plants thinking that it looks really cool. Trust me, it doesn't!
Always use garden soil when planting new plants!! Don't just dig a hole and throw it in there! The roots of a new plant grow best with some fertilized garden soil around them. It doesn't take alot, just enough to surround the roots, then you can fill in the rest with the soil you dug up. If your soil is not that rich, then use all garden soil to surround the plant, and toss the old soil in a compost bin or your trash bin. If you end up with alot of old soil, then you may want to have that taken to your local land fill.
You can get a little creative too. If there are some hardscape items that are affordable, place those items around some of your shrubbery. Bird baths, statues, small bolders. You can even build some small castle-rock towers out of affordable bricks. Lowe's has some of these for only $.98 cents each. You may even find something cool at a yard sale that you can slap a coat of outdoor paint over and Voila'! Instant garden statuary! You can build some small garden wall type mounds and fill them with soil, and place some fast-growing vine-type plants and/or wildflowers in them.
Once you have your front complete, try to hand water regularly. As I stated, hand watering will get the water to just the right places in just the right doses.
If you own a condo rather than single family home, then never mind! You can move on to the next segments I'll be writing about the interior of your home.
Now get off the computer and go do something nice for somebody.............