If They Don’t Like the Outside, They Won’t Go Inside

If you Don't Like the Outside, They Won't go InsideHome buyers decide whether or not to look inside a house based on the exterior appearance. What they see when they drive by, or when they arrive for a showing sets the tone for that first impression. It often determines if a buyer even wants to go inside for a closer look.

Back in the 1980’s, before I was a Realtor, I was in the market to buy a house. The agent pulled up to a house that was rundown, unkempt and showed years of deferred maintenance. There were chickens, barricaded by wire fencing, roaming the overgrown front yard. I wasn’t in the market for an investment property or a fixer upper. I told the agent I had no interest in looking at the interior. She insisted I would fall in love with the house once I got inside. I told her no thank you.

If a buyer doesn’t like the outside of a house for sale, they’re not likely to look inside.

To prepare your house for sale, detach yourself from the property. Remember, it’s a business transaction. This can be hard for some, as there are memories attached to a home. Look at the house, as if you are a potential buyer.

Look outside

What is your first impression of the house and yard?

Can you enhance the outside features of the house?

Can you minimize the worst features?

Curb Appeal

Pressure wash the front path, driveway, sidewalk, deck and house.

Mist the roof with a light chlorine rinse. Be careful not to kill plants around the house.

Cut back any bushes or shrubs.

Mow, weed and edge the yard. 

Rake and dispose of leaves, even if your lot is wooded.

Trim tree limbs near or touching the roof.

Put away unnecessary items around the house.

Clean the windows and gutters.

Put a fresh coat of paint on the front door.

If you can budget it, a fresh paint job does wonders.

Add some potted flowering plants to the front porch, by the door.

Keep the pool crystal clear for showings.

I recently had a home seller tell me that she never liked her house, even the first day she drove up and saw it. She said a friend told her that it would ‘grow on her’. I say go with your gut instincts. If you don’t like it the first time you see it, then it’s not the house for you.

Remember, a buyer will discount their offer price on a house by thousands, for items that may often cost a seller hundreds to fix.  At home inspection time, buyers may estimate items found on an inspection report high. And often, they fear there are items that may not have been found, that may turn up after they have purchased the house.

So, before that for sale sign goes up, get that house market ready.

Staging your Brevard County FL

If they don’t Like the Outside, They Won’t Go Inside

The Importance of Great Curb Appeal in Selling Your Home

A large percentage of home buyers decide whether or not to look inside a house based on its curb appeal or exterior appearance. What they see when they drive by or arrive for a showing sets an immediate impression and often determines if they want to come inside.

Great curb appeal

First, You Have to Get Detached

We are all proud of our homes, but when you are getting ready to sell it, you must try to detach yourself from the home and remember this is going to be a business transaction. Try to look at your house in the same way a potential home buyer may.

The next time you come home, stop across the street or far enough down the driveway to get a good view of the house and its surroundings.

  • What is your first impression of the house and yard area?
  • What are the best exterior features of the house or lot? How can you enhance them?
  • What are the worst exterior features of the house or lot? How can you minimize or improve them?
  • Park where a potential buyer would and walk towards the house, looking around you as if it were your first visit. Is the path clean and tidy?
  • Start making a list of your positive and negative feelings about the property’s appearance.
  • Take photos of the home’s exterior. If you have a digital camera, view the color versions first, then switch the photos to greyscale, because it’s easier to see problems when color isn’t present to affect our senses.

In the evening and the weekend do a driveby on the house again.  Stop across the street, as you did before.

Lighting is Always a Plus

  • String low voltage lighting along your drive way, sidewalks, and around landscaping elements.
  • Add a decorative street lamp or an attractive light fixture to a front porch.
  • Solar versions of outdoor lights are quick and easy to install, but only work when they receive full sun each day.
  • Lighting that’s visible through front windows should enhance the home’s appearance.

Don’t Forget the Rear View

Buyers doing a drive by will try their best to see your back yard. If it’s visible from another street or from someone’s driveway, it should be addressed as well.

Curb Appeal Starters

  • Kill mold and mildew on the house, sidewalks, roof, or driveway.
  • Pressure wash siding and decks.
  • Keep sidewalks and driveways clean.
  • Stow away unnecessary garden implements and tools.
  • Clean the windows and gutters.
  • Mow the lawn regularly. Get rid of weeds.
  • Rake and dispose of leaves, even if your lot is wooded.
  • Edge sidewalks.
  • Trim tree limbs that are near or touching the roof.
  • If you can budget it, a fresh paint job does wonders.
  • A more attractive front door…or replace doorknob hardware…or repaint /stain the door and polish the hardware?