Boston area home selling tips are plentiful in today’s housing market. Although we never work for sellers or list property for sale and always represent home buyers only, we know and can find the very best listing agents anywhere to help you with selling your home.
No matter how many homes are on the market at any given time, those that make the best first impression are the ones that buyers remember most and are more likely to buy. In the often complex world of real estate, a home’s ability to create a good first impression is called “curb appeal.” Let’s take a look into what comprises curb appeal and how to improve it when you’re preparing to sell.
Boston Area Home Selling Tips
For the vast majority of home buying prospects a home’s first impression is how it looks from the street – either walking by or passing by in a car. For decades that was pretty much what a potential home buyer saw and based an initial decision on, until they had the opportunity to take a personal tour of the home. Today, of course, with the advent of smartphones, tablets and digital correspondence such as text messaging and emails, house hunters have much more information available to them than ever. Yet, one thing has remained constant – the first impression is still what the home looks like from the “curb,” whether it’s in a photograph on a real estate website or a picture taken by a smartphone and texted to one spouse from another.
Chances are, if a home has good curb appeal, the seller invested a good amount of time making sure his home “shows” well from the street. A nice, well-manicured lawn always makes for an attractive first impression and usually entices a prospective buyer to want to see more. An inviting walkway or freshly-painted front door may mean the difference in encouraging prospects to visit an open house or keep on looking.
Simply put, most real estate professionals agree, for years curb appeal was always the most important factor in a home’s viewing popularity. Consider these tasks as part of your Boston area home selling preparation:
Clean, clean and clean some more.
A well-kept yard is often a sign of a well-kept home on the inside, too. An unkempt lawn or garden may signal the exact opposite, and scare off potential buyers. If your yard needs mowing and raking, do it now. Replace dead or struggling plants, flowers or shrubs. Clear up any unsightly woodpiles or areas where weeds have taken over such as corners near property lines, areas near outbuildings and fences, or other tight spots near trees.
Use a power washer to pressure wash your driveway, walkway, fence or other areas that need attention. Clean your windows – inside and out – you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes in your home’s appearance. While you’re at it, inspect the window trim and consider cleaning, repairing, painting or replacing if necessary.
Use your green thumb.
Potential home buyers appreciate a home with splashes of color in their lawns and gardens. Consider these tips for making and helping plants and flowers grow better:
• Trim the shrubbery
• Weed the garden area and plant seasonal blooming flowers
• Use attractive, clean mulch
• Plant a low-maintenance ground cover to improve large, bare spots
• Use patches of sod to improve parts of the lawn that may have died
The addition of window boxes is a popular choice for providing colorful, attractive curb appeal. Don’t forget to use potted plants in highly visible, high-traffic areas such as porches, walkways or entryways. A healthy, eye-catching plant or two can be a big addition to your home’s entrance.
Remember, less is more.
It’s been said that if you can look at the home you’re selling through the eyes of the potential buyers it will help prepare it for a faster sale. Allow your prospects the opportunity to use their imagination by “seeing” their furnishings and accessories in your home’s rooms. To effectively do this, it’s important to store or remove excess furniture, exercise equipment, magazines, and personal items like framed photos, trophies, etc. The less clutter your prospect has to remove in their mind’s eye, the better your chances of them imagining your house being theirs.
Don’t forget the cosmetics.
It’s always a good idea to consider making minor cosmetic improvements when preparing your house for sale. Because kitchens and bathrooms are popular selling points, give them the attention they deserve. Clean the grout and shine up the fixtures and hardware. Consider a fresh coat of paint, if needed, in some areas.
In today’s Boston area home selling market, curb appeal is still very important. Yet, its importance is now measured sightly differently. Today’s technological world allows almost every potential buyer the opportunity to form their first impression from an online photo – usually from a real estate website. Instead of spending endless hours driving through neighborhoods, today’s buyers are able to scroll through dozens of interior and exterior photos of homes they are interested in. If they like what they see, of course, they may include those homes on the short list of ones they’d like to see in person. If they aren’t impressed by a home’s online photos, it’s a pretty safe bet that home won’t make the cut.
This new way of home shopping creates a new opportunity – and a new challenge – for home sellers. The home’s exterior no longer is the only enticing feature that may sway a prospect from visiting. Now it’s just as important to highlight your home’s interior. In the digital age, web appeal has become the new curb appeal. The challenge is to photograph your home in its best condition. If the photos aren’t of good quality and professionally produced, most buyers will keep on moving – or scrolling – until they find what appeals to them.
So, what should you do if you’re planning to sell? Real estate experts offer this Boston area home selling tip: spend the time necessary to have your home’s interior ready to photograph in order to put its best foot forward. That will increase your “web appeal” which, in turn, will increase the chances that your home will stand out enough to make a prospect’s “must see” list. While it may require a greater investment of time from most dedicated sellers, in a competitive market full of real estate websites and online information it could mean the difference in selling faster – or not at all.