It’s time for the semiannual LDS General Conference, which means many of you faithful will be home listing to the meetings on the radio. Well brethren, point the speakers outside, because it’s time to work on your yard before you put your home up for sale!
Homebuyers will get their first impression of your home 1. Via the virtual tour, 2. from the curb appeal, and 3. from Google earth. You can control the look of No. 1 and 2, but No. 3 gives you a 50/50 chance the photo truck was on your street when it was neighborhood trash day.
Having an attractive yard can add value to your home, literally and figuratively. Most agents will agree with me that you should start cleaning up your yard about a month before you put your home up for sale. We’ve got Conference this coming weekend and Passover/Easter the next—what a great time to do yard work, right?
Here’s a checklist I’ve gleaned from fellow agents for your yard:
n Get your pots and containers replanted. Throw out old chipped or water-stained pots and replace them with inexpensive colored ones with fast-blooming flowers like pansies, daisies and snapdragons. If you’re not a person known for having a green thumb, ask your nursery to suggest plants, and hire one of the employees to come redesign/replant your yard.
nTrim your shrubs and trees. I have never, in almost 30 years of doing business, had a buyer say, “I love those fitzers!” Those rotten, spider-infested, water-sucking evergreens should be pulled out and replanted with native species. Once you do that, put in a fresh layer of mulch around the bases to enhance the colors in your yard.
n Plant, plant and plant color. Two flats of colorful and fast-producing annual flower plants will make people smile.
n You’re selling your home, so this year you’re not going to have a vegetable garden. You can however, turn the dirt over and show potential buyers where your garden space is.
n Take out your over-personalized yard art. One or two lawn gnomes or flamingo birds are fine. Thirty-five are not. Fifteen wind chimes are excessive. Used toilet planters must go in the garage, grandpa.
While you are out and about in the yard, look around at the exterior of the home, too. Did your gutters make it through the winter or do they need straightening and repair? Are the downspouts pointing away from the house and carrying water away from the foundation? Do your windows open easily, are they clean, and are your screens in good repair? Don’t even tell me your Christmas lights are still up! Do all your doors open and close without sticking or screeching? Other musts to make your curb appeal pop: Remove the green indoor/outdoor carpets on any exterior surface and repaint that surface. That stuff went out of style even before Elvis died. Replace your mailbox. Replace your house numbers above or beside the door with newer, modern numbers. Clean your outside porch light(s) or replace them if necessary.
Finally, call me or your Realtor—we will come for free and help make “honey do” lists to get your place ready to sell.
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