Get Curb Appeal

How does your home look to a possible purchaser? Go outside and get into your car. Drive around the block, and stop across the street in front of your house. Take a good look at it. How is the paint condition? What condition are the evestroughs, the roof, chimney, landscaping, porch, and railings in?

How do the shrubs, grass, driveway, garage door and garage look overall? Your home needs to look super inviting to attract buyer interest. Curb Appeal is a major component in getting people through the front door. It starts online when your home is first looked at.

Decks and porches are an important extension of a house. If they have railings, are they up to code? Outdoor living spaces are big selling features in a home sale – present them in the best light.

If your deck, porch or walkway is moss covered green or dirty grey, pressure washing is the simple answer to restoring its original condition. If some boards are split or rotted out, replace them before you pressure wash.

Dave’s Toolbox TIP: You may be able to turn over pressure treated or cedar boards if they aren’t damaged too badly, and get a second life with them.


Inspect the painted surfaces around the doors, windows and trim at the front entrance. This is where the prospects will get their first impression. If it’s aged, weathered, and uncared for, people generally expect that the inside was maintained the same way.

Look in the garage. Is it clean and organized? If not, put up shelves to get things off the ground and out of the way. Trees should be pruned and neat looking with all the weeds pulled between the patio stones. If time allows, plant flowers, repair sod areas, add mulch, and water everything well. Now, go inside and check the basement. If it’s damp or showing signs of water seeping in, it must be fixed at once. Any wall cracks should receive the expanding epoxy treatment. Downspouts should not be allowed to run down beside your house. They should be directed away from the house into gardens and grass.

If your house foot print is 1,000 sq. ft. then your evestrough piping conveniently brings all in the water in the dowspouts to your foundation. But, weeping tiles and walls can only take so much water. Many water problems in your basement can be corrected by simply directly water away from your house.

Did you know that most insurance claims twenty years ago were for fire and floods, but today more than 50% are water related?

One of our customers had a flood caused by sudden downpour. We’d installed a back water preventer in his basement three years earlier, due to a previous flood, so this was very unusual. They called us because they had water in the basement again. I was concerned, so I went over right away. The water was clean. It wasn’t from the sewer. I brought my top plumber in, and we scoped out the drain to try and source the problem. The back water valve was working. We deduced that two of three downspouts were going right into his foundation. They should have been running away from the house. We redirected them, and the problem was solved.
house looking neat before 'for sale' sign goes up

Before the ‘House For Sale’ sign goes on the property

Do a final clean, and vacation the pets to your good friends or family. The majority of people find animals a distraction when looking at properties, and some are even nervous enough to avoid entering. Some people are allergic to them as well.

Now, don’t misunderstand me here, because I have a 90 lb. lovable Labrador named Clifford that would show any burglar where the valuables are hidden, be excited that they were visiting, and then lick them on the way out the door with my goodies in their hands.

He would act that way with anyone that comes into my house, including a complete stranger that might want to buy it. The majority of buyers can be turned off by this action, so when I plan on selling, Clifford won’t be the greeter.

The less personal items in your house when it is on the market, the less you have to tidy up before a showing. If you have twenty pairs of shoes, make do with two or three pairs until the house is sold.

Make your home look open and inviting, by keeping needed items to the minimum. For the next short while, imagine that you are living in a model home, and keep the home in that condition.

No piles, or closets full of clothes, shoes, or children’s toys in the way with just the right amount of furniture in each room.

When the house sells, and you have a firm and committed deal in place, then you can bring it all back, and go back to where you were. Don’t be surprised if you discover that you could have lived easily without all the stored goods.

Sometimes our Prep ‘n Sell™ and RENOmagic™ Franchisees meet clients when they are at their most stressed. After our magic, we get hugs and high fives from singles, or couples that tell us that they feel like the whole world has just been lifted off their shoulders.

As stated previously, upgrading your personal home, and reaping the extra dollars on resale will be the cheapest tax free money you can make.

At Prep ’n Sell™, our “One call does it all” helps take the needless stress out of your project, and provide your family with a pleasurable experience.

I hope this guide has been informative, and has helped you through this sometimes trying process. Good luck with your sale or renovation and, use these proven techniques to have a rewarding and profitable home selling experience. Once again, why leave money on the table for some else?

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