Spruce Up Your Garden Before Selling Your Home
One of the first things your real estate agent should discuss with you when giving you tips for selling your house is the importance of “curb appeal.” While that includes your front door, windows, exterior light fixtures, walkways, fencing, and your front deck or porch, it’s also all about your yard. As soon as you know you want to sell, you should start the outdoor work.
Here are a few tips on things you’ll want to tackle to make sure your home has enough curb appeal to get people in to view its interior.
Rent a Power Washer
Great for cleaning vinyl or brick siding, gutters, and paved surfaces, a weekend with a power washer is a great way to start the exterior clean up your home will need before you list it. As you clean the walkways, make note of any cracked or broken paving stones, and replace them. Don’t forget to use the power washer on any birdbaths, water features, or small ponds you’ve created to wash away stains and lichens that may have started to sprout. As you make your way around your home, check your exterior light fixtures and clear out the bugs that have collected in them and replace any burnt out lights.
Trim Shrubs and Trees
Now is the time to tackle low-hanging or damaged branches and shrubs that have overgrown the space allotted to them. It won’t just make the place look better, it will invigorate your trees and shrubs and force new growth in the direction you want to encourage it. If you have large trees that are beginning to encroach on power lines, consider hiring an arborist to do this work for you. Rake up any dead leaves and twigs. get rid of all your yard waste at once.
Unless you have perennials already planted at the base of your trees, consider investing in some mulch instead of planting annuals later on. Invest in a few extra bags so you can top up the mulch once your house is listed.
Invest in Annuals and Hanging Pots
This year, no matter what your usual garden plan is, invest in tons of long-blooming annuals and fill up all your garden beds with them. Spread mulch around them and you won’t have to weed. Petunias and pansies are particularly nice because they come in so many different colors and bloom all summer long. Lush hanging pots of flowers or some attractive tall planters filled with a variety of flowers and decorative grasses are always a nice touch too, and they’ll keep the focus on your entryway.
It goes without saying that you should ensure any patches of damaged lawn are reseeded as one of the first steps prior to selling. It will take a while for the grass to catch up to the rest of your lawn, but it will make a huge difference. A sad or patchy lawn plants a negative seed in potential buyers’ minds, making them wonder, “If they haven’t taken care of this, what else has been neglected?”
Your real estate agent may have other tips for selling your house that relate to the garden and exterior. It will make a difference in the number and quality of offers you receive and the number of days your house is on the mark.
Better Homes and Garden Real Estate LLC
In yesterday’s Sound Off column in the San Francisco Chronicle (2/7/2021), several Realtors were asked to predict the impact of COVID-19 vaccinations on SF real estate. All opined that a warming of the market would take place and that former renters who abandoned San Francisco in droves would return to take advantage of declining rents.
Sounds like an improving situation for renters but what about buyers and sellers of homes? To me, a strong real estate market means a high level of transactional activity supported by an equilibrium of buyers and sellers. Rental activity doesn’t impel selling and buying unless a renter becomes a former renter and purchases a home.
Indeed, the availability of vaccines and the broadening vaccination of the population should foster confidence that the virus will be–if not defeated–at least managed, and that confidence (along with the implementation of Proposition 19) should go far to encourage more homeowners to give up their expensive, equity-heavy homes for greener pastures outside the Bay Area and even California. With less fear of infection from prospective buyers to their homes, prospective home sellers should become more willing to put their property on the market.
But this won’t happen overnight. Home seekers might want to be patient and watch the market for signs of a growing inventory of homes for sale and a market that isn’t so constrained and tilted toward the interests of home sellers.
Choosing to work with an experienced, competent agent is the best safeguard against making mistakes. But how do you know that you’re getting the best possible counsel? Interview prospective agents to make the best choice. If you’re employed in a management role, hiring a real estate agent is the same as hiring an individual to fill a key role on your work team. Take time to draft questions that get at the heart of what you need and want. If you’re an individual contributor, apply the same logical approach to making a real estate decision as you would to any project on your plate.