Tips for Curb Appeal--Make YOUR Home Scream “BUY ME” from the Street!

Real Estate Agent with Boardman Realty Minnesota License#90858


Curb Appeal Tips to Sell Minnesota Home Fast

Vintage Chisago City Home by Teri Eckholm REALTOR
CURB APPEAL that Screams, "BUY ME!"
Inventory is down in the Minneapolis/St. Paul north and east metro but what will happen come spring? If all the calls I have been receiving from interested home sellers are an indication, the market is going to be competitive. This means that homeowners that want to see a sold sign in front of their Minnesota home sooner rather than later, will make Curb Appeal a priority as they prepare their home inside and out!
Last week, I had the opportunity to show a “just listed” Forest Lake home a few days after our massive spring snowstorm. The unpaved, unplowed 400 foot long driveway was a muddy mess but that was only part of the immediate turn off for my buyer. The front yard was a disaster with debris and dirt from the driveway to the front door. It was less than welcoming; it was a turn off!
Selling a home in this changed real estate market is tricky. Whether you are selling a lakeshore cabin, an executive, acreage home or a convenient townhome, your house needs to look HOT from the outside in! As a REALTOR® in the north and east Minneapolis/St Paul metro area, I have been showing homes all over Anoka County and Washington Counties, from Blaine to Lino Lakes and Forest Lake to Hugo. As the snow melts, some yards are looking not only boring but down right dirty. The market is starting to pick up and soon buyers have dozens of homes to choose from. Decisions can be made in a split second from a photo on the computer screen to the moment a potential buyer drives up to the curb. It takes only a few moments for a buyer to assess a home’s potential.
In this market, buyers are putting homes into two categories: Well-Maintained Homes to pay top dollar for and Not-Maintained Homes to get at rock bottom prices. A serious homeseller does not want his home in the second category as it includes most foreclosures, short sales and other less than desirable properties. In my 10 Tips For A Quick Sale, jazzing up the Curb Appeal is the number one recommendation I give to homesellers.
Screaming “Buy Me” from the Curb Stand in the street and look at your property from a buyer’s eyes. If your home is not screaming, “Buy Me” from the curb, now is the time to spice up the exterior! Here are a few quick tips and reminders:
  • Flowers add color! Since spring gardens haven’t bloomed yet, try a dried floral wreath or colorful flag.
  • Spruce up the landscaping with new wood chips. Make certain all of the landscaping bricks in the retaining walls and pavers in the sidewalks are secure.
  • Pick up all debris and trash from the yard!
  • Rake any leaves as soon as the snow melts.
  • Fix up that banged up, rusty mailbox at the end of the driveway.
  • Seal coat the blacktop drive as soon as weather permits.
  • Move Boats, Trailers and Campers to another location.
  • Wash dirt and cobwebs from front of home paying special attention to door where buyers will enter. Paint door if necessary.
  • Replace tattered American flags with new ones. (Remember proper to dispose of old one properly.)
  • Repair any wind damage to gutters, siding, shutters and storm doors. If the shutters or trim has faded, replace or repaint.
  • Paint or stain siding, porches and decks as necessary.
Though sprucing up curb appeal may seem like common sense to a home seller, it is amazing how many homes on the market have awesome interiors but dumpy exteriors. Addressing curb appeal is one way to get serious homebuyers through the door!
Posted by

Teri Eckholm. REALTOR with Boardman Realty, is a native Minnesotan who has lived and worked in the Minneapolis St Paul metro all of her life. She specializes in lakeshore homes, acreage properties and first time home buyers but assists anyone making a move in the north and east Twin Cities metro.

If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give Teri , a call or visit her website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report She specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

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  1. Kim Carlson 480-993-9384 03/06/2012 08:44 AM
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Victor Zuniga
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties - San Diego, CA

Im all about new paint and flowers!! They add so much.

Mar 06, 2012 06:57 AM #1
Charlie Dresen
Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty - Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro

Great advice and while we have the "snow issue" well into May here in Steamboat Springs, it's always good to remind sellers that as soon as the snow is melting away, plans need to be put in place to make sure the yard (and driveway and sidewalks) are maintained and kept clean and tidy. The sooner a Steamboat yard can exude the colors of Spring the more it will stand out especially if other homes are mired in mud. Curb appeal has always been important, but in this competitive market it's even more important to make sure as you said: "your house should be screaming 'buy me' from the curb"! Well put!

Mar 06, 2012 07:01 AM #3
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

The little DIY projects for the interior . . . and let's not forget about the exterior!! Now's the time to spruce up (at least in some parts of the nation, it's getting spring-like).  And, then PLEASE listing agents take new photos!!  It's so nice to see a house basking in the sun!! ;-)

Mar 06, 2012 07:09 AM #4
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

One more we always recommend in San Jose, Cupertino & Saratoga - power wash all of the sidewalks and driveways, walkways, too. It makes a huge difference.

Mar 06, 2012 08:34 AM #5
Steve Vennemann-Hennepin-Dakota-Anoka contract for deed property-Ramsey-MN
BoardWalk Premier Realty INC - White Bear Lake, MN

Thanks for the great info..

Mar 06, 2012 08:49 AM #6
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
REcampus Fully Accredited Florida ONLINE & Classroom Training in Destin, Pensacola Florida - Panama City Beach, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

Great tips Teri, Hope you have a great evening. Keep up the good work!

Mar 06, 2012 09:17 AM #7
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hi Teri,

Good advice for anyone wanting to sell, but your list is a little longer than ours in SoCal, at least the part about the snow. And I liked your comment about a tattered American Flag, that's a really good one imho.

Btw, our inventory is down here too.

Mar 06, 2012 09:48 AM #8
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

That is great advice, Teri.  The minute a buyer sees a home that does not look well-taken-care-of they are going to start subtracting the dollars from any offer they may make, if they make one at all.  They will probably think the owner does not care about the house or what they get for it.

Mar 06, 2012 06:36 PM #9
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!


Great read. When a home screams buy me it only makes sense more will follow

Mar 08, 2012 11:07 AM #10
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Teri Eckholm

REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro
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