Springtime is a popular time to sell a home in Northern Virginia. Many prospective home buyers come out of the woodwork, taking advantage of sunny Spring days to scout out potential homes. However, it’s also a popular time to list a home, which means you are competing against more sellers to get the attention of buyers. How you prepare your home for showings and drive-by lookers will have a great impact – first impressions are tend to stick with potential buyers, even if your home has tons of hidden potential.
Spring has some advantages for adding curb appeal to your home. The bright colors of flowers, and the lack of excessive heat draining your lawn of color can work to your advantage. But you need to look holistically at the exterior of your home and your yard. Make it as inviting as possible. This will make buyers want to see more.
Here is where to start.
In the Garden
Many sellers are surprised to find that the same advice we give for staging the inside of your home also applies to the outside of your home. You want your home’s architecture and landscaping to shine. So remove any items in your yard that make it look cluttered, such as benches, chairs, lawn art, and toys. You want the buyers to visualize how THEY will use the space, not focus on your tastes and style. Put these items in storage, so you can take them with you when you move.
Freshen up the mulch
Old mulch looks faded and tired. A fresh layer of dark mulch will make your flowers and greenery seem brighter and more inviting. It also goes a long way to making your home and yard look well-cared for and maintained.
Tidy up the flower beds
Overgrown bushes and clumps of flowers will make your gardens look neglected. Remove sick or dead plants and faded or run-down pots. Replace with new plants and invest in bright, now flower pots for the porch or walkway. Remove weeds and divide overgrown hostas into smaller chunks (give some away to friends if you cant use all the divided plants). NOTE: If you plan to take any of your perennials (hostas, prize rose bushes, etc.) with you when you move, you will need to disclose this to buyers.
Add a pop of color
Take advantage of seasonal Spring colors buy adding flowering annuals where appropriate. These are relatively inexpensive, and can be planted in the garden amongst the greenery, or in bright pots.
Tend to your water features
If you have a fountain or garden pond, make sure it is clean and looks fresh. A water feature that is covered in algae or full of rotting fall leaves will look (and possibly smell) very unattractive. So take some time to clean and tend to it, and make sure the filtration and bubblers are working properly.
Make friends with the power washer
If you don’t have a power washer, consider buying, renting, or borrowing this handy tool. If you don’t already own one, consider buying or renting a power washer. You can use it to clean paved and concrete surfaces, and you can even clean siding and brick (just don’t use it on windows!). It’s amazing the difference a little power washing can do.
Highlight your night
Outdoor lighting can add charm and elegance to your home. You can use it to light walkways or to highlight a special tree or yard feature. If you already have a lighting system, get it in working order, replace bulbs, and clean the lights. If you don’t have the budget to added wired lighting, there are tons of inexpensive solar options available, from walkway lights to spotlights.
Clean and touch up the exterior
Walk around your home and take note of any siding that looks dingy or places where paint is worn or faded. You want your home to look fresh and clean when buyers approach. Once you’ve noted the areas that need attention, power wash and clean the exterior as needed, and touch up the paint as needed. If you have the time and budget, consider a fresh coat of trim paint in a coordinating accent color for a fresh, new look.
Check your railings, gutters and downspouts. You don’t want rusty, worn hardware to detract from your home. Replace any unsightly hardware. You can also consider a new door knocker or door handle, which can give your entryway a fresh look. Don’t overlook your house numbers! Remove and give a fresh coat of paint to faded house numbers, or choose from a variety of stylish new designs to update your look.
Freshen your mailbox
Mailboxes naturally draw the eye, whether they greet visitors at the entry to your drive, or have a prominent position right next to your front door. A fresh coat of paint can make an old box look new, along with updated street numbers. If your box in on a post, consider a nice planting of flowers around the base to add an inexpensive pop of color.
Make your windows squeaky clean
Dirty windows, missing screens, and decaying window frames are a real scene stealer. Don’t let them draw buyers attention away from your home’s great features. Clean the windows thoroughly, repair/replace screens, fix any issues with the frames, and touch up with a fresh coat of paint.
Dress-up your door
Your entry way is the invitation into your home. You want to be fresh, clean and inviting. A new door will do wonders, but you can make an old door look great with fresh paint. Add new hardware (handle, knocker, peep hole, kick plate). Don’t overlook your door mat! An inviting welcome mat can really make the space. Consider flanking the door with a pair of matching flower pots filled with bright sunny annuals. Or alternatively, consider a wreath made with season-appropriate colors and materials.
We can help you determine where you can get the most bang for your buck in terms of creating curb appeal. As part of our 4 1/2% Full-Service Listing service, we consult with you on all aspects of staging your home and preparing for showings. Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home in Northern Virginia, we are always here to help with all your real estate needs! If you are unsure of your home’s value or if you are thinking about buying or selling, contact Jason at 703-298-7037 or Jason@JasonAndBonnie.com.