Exterior Improvements – Minimal or No Cost

  • Rake leaves, mow lawn and keep edges neat.  Lawns and flowers should be weeded regularly.  Trees and shrubs should be pruned and trimmed.
  • Remove old lawn mowers, tractors, disabled autos, broken lawn ornaments, topless tables, armless lawn furniture and seatless chairs.  They are reasons for a buyer to make a U-turn.
  • Hoses should be coiled or placed inconspicuously when not being used, other garden equipment should be stored in some type of shelter when not in use.
  • A yard should be free from unnecessary clutter, a place should be provided for children’s toys and equipment.  All animal litter should be removed daily.
  • Fix the garage door so it opens and closes.  House and garage doors should be free from finger marks. Wood surfaces should be kept painted, oiled or stained.
  • Porches, steps, verandas, balconies, patios and other extensions of the home must be uncluttered, clean and repaired.
  • Shades and awnings in good repair with colors not faded will improve exterior house appearance.
  • Keep garbage can deodorized and out of sight or placed inconspicuously.
  • Walks and entrances should be well maintained and free from excess water, ice and snow.  Put some crushed stone on walkways and driveways that turn muddy in the rain and fill in any pot holes.
  • Keep gates, fences, walls and outer buildings repaired and painted.
  • Outdoor furniture should be kept clean.  Firewood should be neatly stacked.  Barbecue grill should be cleaned.
  • Metal accessories (door knobs, door knockers, lamps, etc.) need to be cleaned and polished.
  • Attach the downspouts to the gutters and paint, if needed.  Any loose roof shingles, tiles, etc. should be secured or repaired.
  • Paint the front door, back and side entrance doors.  Nothing looks worse than a peeling door.
  • The fence is falling and so is the sale.  Get rid of it or replace it.
  • Buy a new mailbox without graffiti on it.
  • Remove the half-dozen, slightly tilted, multicolored “For Sale” signs.
  • Air coolers should be stored neatly if not in use.
  • If you are neither prepared to nor want to spend hundreds of dollars for exterior painting, be ready to make an immediate price adjustment, or listen to everyone who views the home say, “It will cost a fortune to have the house painted!”  If you can afford it, the money spent tidying up will be well worth the investment.
  • Paint all chimneys and replace broken brick or stone.
  • It the roof leaks, fix it!  Remove any or all evidence of leakage by whatever means possible.

You may have chuckled or frowned after reading the above list.  Trivial as they may seem,  these “Little things that mean a lot” might be the difference between turning on and turning  off the buyer you have been waiting for.

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