Prioritizing Curb Appeal Projects to Maximize Your Time & Budget
Putting your home on the market is not going to be a small feat. There are many details and projects you will have to manage, but it is completely doable. The key is to be prepared, write down everything you will need to do, and divide up your list into priorities and nice-to-haves.
This post will give you some suggestions on what to prioritize when you are putting your home on the market when it comes to curb appeal. Here are a few suggestions on what to tackle:
These high-priority projects will be definitely deal-breakers in your sale or good cause for price reduction. You should definitely take care of these before you go on the market. Buyers tend to over-estimate costs for repairs and work, and they will use these types of issues to negotiate the listing price with you.
For example, when my parents bought their house, during the home inspection, the inspector found a leak and some damages on the roof. My parents got a nice price reduction on the sale price when the actual roof damage cost only about 25% of the price reduction. This is why oftentimes the listing agent will request the sellers to hire a home inspector to prevent any of these issues occurring during the sale.
You should also take care of these problems before you do any type of cosmetic work like landscaping, cleaning, staging, etc.
Distinctive, unpleasant smells
This last one can be a bit controversial.
In some states, the sellers don’t have to disclose if there has been multiple murders /unnatural deaths occurred on the property, or is supposedly haunted. With this kind of supernatural stuff, non-believers will think it is completely ridiculous, but there are still strong possibilities where the buyers will end up walking away.
While there is nothing you can do about what has already happened, you can still clean, repaint, and fix up the space. If your house is haunted, call a professional to remove the spirit(s).
On a previous podcast, I interviewed a home stager about staging a former mobster’s home and a friend who used to work with Ed & Lorraine Warren (You may have heard of them from The Conjuring and Annabelle movie franchise) on what to do if your home is haunted.
Once the big-ticket item projects are out of the way, it’s time to tackle the ones that are of medium priority. These will be projects that are visible to the eyes. Things like:
peeling, faded, or chipped paint job
any visible damages to the architectural elements like shutters, flower boxes, broken fences or gates, broken mailbox, light fixtures, gutters, etc.
any visible maintenance projects like brown/dead plants, yellow or dead lawn, visible clutter and trash, gutters that needed to be cleaned out, etc.
boosting curb appeal projects like adding more colors through planting colorful flowers, hiding ugly bare soil with mulch, etc.
cleaning, like power-washing the exterior, windows, etc.
These are the “nice to have” projects. These are the things that you can hold off on or can be cut if you don’t have the time or the budget to accomplish them, and things that will not necessarily impact a buyer’s decision.
These are usually aesthetic types of projects that have no real impact on return on investment, like adding a bird bath or a small water fountain, making a fancier address sign, building or buying a container for your trashcans, or writing “hello” or “welcome” on your front door, which is getting popular these days. These types of projects should be reserved for the last minute.
If you have furnishings for your backyard, it may be a good idea to refresh them if repainting is needed and wash/change the cushion covers. If you had run out of the time to do this and they are not in good condition, just go ahead and remove them.