The Spring Market Has Officially Arrived! Time to Tweak Your Curb Appeal!

So what exactly is “curb appeal”? When real estate agents and buyers refer to curb appeal, it means the initial impact the home makes when the buyer first views it. If you’re interested in putting your home on the market, you may be wondering what repairs and touch-ups should be done. And then there’s bankrolling the work, not to mention sacrificing weekends to get it done.

There are always no cost/low cost ways to get your home in showing shape. Always keep in mind that the elbow grease and hours you put into staging the exterior of your home will net you more money at the closing table.

Stand in front of your home from the street and visualize a buyer driving up to your curb. What would he see? Landscaping in need of work? A fence in need of paint? If the outside of the house is in shambles, a buyer may not be motivated to get out of the car and come inside! So what things are important to fix-up and replace before you sell?

Let’s glance around the front yard. Note what hedges and trees need to be trimmed. Are they cut back away from the front door, the windows, and the porch area? This is not only for aesthetics but for safety reasons as well (a big priority with buyers today). A safe home is one that has a clear view of the parking area into the street, and walk ways that are free of obstructions and overgrown foliage.

Here’s a fairly thorough check list for you to follow when “staging” the exterior of your home:

• Go around the perimeter of the house and move all garbage cans, discarded wood scraps, extra building materials, ladders, etc., to the garage, or if appropriate just get rid of them permanently. You don’t want the house to look like a “work in progress.”

• Check gutters and roof for dry rot and moss. Don’t let mini trees grow out of your gutters!

• Make sure sidewalks and driveways are swept and cleaned.

• Prune bushes and trees. Keep plants from blocking windows.

• Remove dead plants (very bad feng shui to keep dead plants in or out of the house!), weed all planting areas, and put down fresh mulch.

• Keep your lawn freshly cut, edged, and fertilized during the growing season.

• Clear patios or decks of all small items, such as little planters, flowerpots, charcoal, barbecue equipment and toys.

• If you have a dog and allow it free reign of the backyard, CLEAN UP AFTER he or she is done with their business! The last thing you want is a buyer walking around your yard and stepping on a land mine!

• What about paint trim near the front door and on the eaves? Could it use a new coat?

• Make sure your front door is in good repair, too – including the screen door, if applicable.

Buyers’ impressions as they enter the home will set the stage for the rest of the showing. Any time and money invested on these items will usually bring you the return of more money and a quicker sale!

“Antoinette” Scognamiglio (licensed as Maria), Sales Associate, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Route 46W & Crane Road, Mountain Lakes, NJ 07046. Cell Phone: 201.240.8699. Email:

Are you considering purchasing or selling a home in Morris, Sussex, Passaic or Northern Bergen County? I specialize in those territories, with expertise in Lakefront property. As a relocation specialist, I take exceptional care in assisting my clients in finding their new home and community. Certified as an Accredited Staging Professional, I work with my home seller clients to ensure their home offers the highest level of appeal to buyers (and Realtors®!). Please visit my website to learn more about my philosophy in conducting real estate business. I believe “The title of REALTOR® should be held with great care or not held at all.” Put your real estate transaction in careful hands.
(C) Antoinette Scognamiglio, 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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