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Selling your house? Valuable curb appeal strategies

bedroom picture

Photo: Diana Fox photo

Beautiful flowers like these tulips add to the room.

bedroom picture

Photo: Diana Fox photo

Beautiful foliage like this promote curb appeal.

bedroom picture

Photo: Diana Fox photo

A light, bright living room appeals to the buyer.


Diana Fox

Today’s real estate market is fast paced and competitive. To attract and impress potential buyers, set your property apart from others. The significance of making a good first impression is well known - as it relates to selling your home, it’s crucial. People form positive or negative impressions in less than 30 seconds. Ensure your results are favorable with a few simple selling strategies. Think like a buyer. They’ve arrived at your front door hoping to fall in love with your home. Draw attention to your home’s positive features, stimulate their imaginations by setting the scene and do all you can to make their first impression lasting. ‘Curb appeal’ is a term used to describe how the property looks from the street.

Initial appearance is a key factor to a potential buyer and affects their impressions. People want to buy a home that isn’t burdened with deferred maintenance or projects that need attention. Understandably, the more attractive a house is to a buyer, the more quickly it will sell. The yard should be well maintained and radiate an owner’s pride. Prune any overgrown trees and shrubbery, spray annoying weeds and replace any plants that are no longer vital. Edge along walks and driveways; freshen up window boxes, flowerbeds or borders with colorful flowers; and add an additional layer of bark/mulch if needed. Your lawn and landscaping should look fresh, crisp and well cared for.

Give special attention to your home’s entry. A fresh coat of paint will highlight the front door and is a quick detail to impress potential buyers. Select a color that compliments your house or try rich tones of red, chocolate, black or navy.

Accent the area with stylish containers overflowing with lush greenery and flowers, a wooden bench or a soothing water fountain. Sweep and clean any cobwebs and dirt and, as a final touch, add a new “welcome” mat as a pleasant invitation to enter. Reduce clutter in all areas - inside and out. Put away anything that causes distraction and takes away from those features you want to highlight. Outside, that means hoses, bicycles, garbage cans or garden tools. Clearing the clutter on the inside will dramatically change the perceived size of any room, making it look clean and open.

Think of how beautiful and uncrowded a model home looks. Eliminate or store bulky, unnecessary furniture and rearrange rooms so they appear larger and more spacious. Depersonalize rooms by taking away family pictures and pare down on room accessories. Each room should project a positive image that easily offers buyers the chance to see themselves and their furnishings already moved in.

Regardless of season, a thorough ‘spring cleaning’ is necessary. Set the stage by cleaning windows, shampooing carpets and washing walls. Make sure your kitchen and bathrooms sparkle. In the kitchen, expand counter space by clearing away clutter and storing kitchen appliances that aren’t used on a daily basis.

Clean out and organize cupboards and pantries. If your cabinets and drawers are jammed full, a buyer automatically assumes there isn’t adequate storage. Shelves and storage areas that are neat, tidy and organized fool the eye and look larger. When preparing your bathrooms think of a potential buyer as a very special guest and make sure it is not only clean but also nicely decorated.

Get rid of half-empty jars and bottles in the medicine cabinet and underneath the sink. Create counter space by putting away your hairdryer, makeup and shaving accessories, then showcase a clear glass vase full of seashells, a beautiful floral arrangement or themed accessories. Add fluffy new towels and a thick area rug to make your bathroom look plush, cheerful and attractive. Nothing says “welcome” like a room filled with light. Natural light transforms a room with an illusion of spaciousness. Leave curtains or shades open to emphasis your home’s appealing features.

In addition, leave a light on in every room, including hallways, so you can control and highlight the effect you’d like potential buyers to see. Don’t forget the appearance of the garage and attic. Resist using these areas as a storeroom while simplifying your home and preparing it for sale. Get a storage unit if necessary or have a garage sale to clear out excess items. Reduce clutter and organize shelves to appear larger and more orderly. If your garage feels crowded, create extra space by removing the cars prior to a real estate showing.

Making your house appealing to a prospective buyer is an important process. To ensure your home sells quickly and at the highest possible price, initiate these simple selling strategies. A little extra care and effort will make all the difference in creating a positive first impression to influence a buyer’s decision.

Diana Fox is a new resident to Southwest California. She specializes in interior arrangement, room design makeovers, color consultations and relocation services. She has been assisting clients since 1986 and can be reached by phone at (951) 202-7859 or e-mail at diana@foxinteriors.biz.

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