Potential home buyers will often just want to drive-by and look at the outside of a property for sale. The reason being; the buyer will want to make a quick, personal ‘no-obligations’ assessment of the property. He or she will want to save themselves the time, hassles and possible embarrassment of looking through a house that they do not intend to buy.
So, first impressions do count! A house with poor ‘street appeal’ can get struck-off a homebuyers shopping list, without them even stepping a foot in the door. The sale of a house like that can be lost in a matter of seconds!
Needless to say, a home that is visually appealing, and in good condition, will attract potential buyers driving down the street. Any real estate agent will tell you that strong ‘street appeal’ will lure those potential buyers inside the property.
That means, before you put your home on the market do this. Stand back and look at your property as objectively as you can. Would you buy this home? Ask friends and neighbors to tell you their opinions. Insist they be totally honest and do not hold a grudge if they say something that offends. Good or bad – you need to know the truth about your property!
It is really very simple. The first step in preparing the exterior of your property is to take a clear-headed look at your house from the street. Stand at the curb and look at the property in the same way a potential buyer might. Imagine that you are seeing your house for the very first time. What stands out? What catches your eye?
Truthfully now – is it the beautiful landscaping and the new fence or roof? Or does something else strike you about the property?
Maybe your eye is drawn by the flaking exterior paint? Perhaps it is those holes in the driveway that you notice first? Could it be the rusty spouting, the garbage cans, the tatty letterbox, the over-grown shrubs, or that boarded-up window?
Here is a quick 11-point home for sale checklist to get you started:
1. Are the lawn and shrubs well maintained around the house?
2. Does the garden or pathway need weeding?
3. Are lawn mowers and hoses properly stored?
4. Does the properties driveway need resurfacing?
5. Are there cracks in the foundation or walkways?
6. Are garbage and debris stored out of sight?
7. Are the gutters, chimney and exterior walls in good condition?
8. Do the window casings, shutters, siding or doors need painting?
9. Does the fence or letterbox need repairing or painting?
10. Do the windows need washing inside and out?
11. Is the garage door closed?
Remember, this is how your property will ‘introduce’ itself to a potential home buyer. If the ‘street appeal’ is poor, you could lose the buyer without them even getting out of the car. They will likely move on to the next available property, no matter how beautiful the interior of your house may be.
This all might sound obvious, but it is a lesson that unfortunately many vendors learn the hard way. They struggle to sell the property, or they fail to get the price the property is capable of attracting.
Do what is necessary to make your property stand out from the competition. Make certain that your house is fresher, cleaner, and better maintained. And above all – make sure your property has ‘street appeal.’ That is how you will attract a drive-by home buyer and potentially sell your home more quickly and possibly for a higher price than you expected.