First impressions can make or break your chances of selling your house in Baltimore at the price you need – or at all. In fact, about half of all home purchasing decisions are made during the first 60 of a viewing when buyers are approaching your house on the front walk. So the outside of your home has to be absolutely appealing. For it what buyers see when they first arrive that makes them want to go inside and see more. With the crucial importance of that first impression in mind, here are 5 tips for great curb appeal when selling your house in Baltimore.
1. Declutter Ruthlessly and Relentlessly
Like beauty, clutter is often in the eye of the beholder. You may not see all that stuff around your house as clutter – or even notice it at all – because you’ve grown accustomed to having it around. But you can bet buyers will see it, and it very likely will be offputting to them. So attack your decluttering with a critical eye and be ruthlessly aggressive.
Some of the things you’ll need to do with respect to decluttering for selling your house in [market _city] include:
- Removing all the things that inevitably accumulate around a home with a bustling family life, things such as bicycles, skateboards, basketballs, trash cans, pet toys, garden tools, lawn implements, and so on.
- Walking around and picking up all the bits of trash you can find, such as scrap paper, dog poop, plastic bags, and fallen branches. Your goal is to get rid of anything and everything that buyers won’t find appealing.
- Eliminating most of your outdoor furniture and keeping only a select few pieces.
The idea, as explained by real estate professionals, is to allow buyers to “imagine your home as their own, with their possessions and their style. Going for a clean, streamlined look helps them do that.”
2. Paint What Needs It
Painting the exterior of your home can certainly make it look better and increase curb appeal. But you don’t necessarily have to paint the whole exterior, usually just the places that are in the worst shape. Considering that a professional and complete exterior paint job can cost $2,500 and more, you may want to paint, say, just the trim and do it yourself. Even this minor paint job can make a big difference in your home’s appearance. But do be sure to paint the front entry door because buyers will, without a doubt notice that.
3. Take Care of the Landscaping
Real estate studies show that getting the landscaping right can increase your home’s value by as much as 12%. “The most preferred landscape design is sophisticated and features large deciduous [trees], evergreens, annual colored plants and colored landscape.” Many times you won’t have to hire professional landscapers because, if you have any kind of green thumb at all, you can do most of it yourself. For many houses, the landscaping tasks involve nothing more than trimming hedges and trees, cleaning and mulching beds, and mowing and edging. In any case, it’s worth the effort when you can get 12% more on your sale price.
4. Make the Lighting Better
If you’re selling your house in Baltimore during the summer when days are long, you may not give much thought to lighting. But you should. Oftentimes, interested buyers who work long hours will drive by your house at night to have a look. This means, then, that your outdoor lighting should be such that your home is displayed to best advantage even at night.
Start with the front porch light, making sure it provides adequate lighting to make the entry area appealing and observable after dark. Also, consider adding landscape lighting to highlight your home’s best features. If you don’t have the budget for full-blown landscape lighting, you can always use less expensive solar-powered lights and install them yourself.
5. Tend to the Front Door
As we’ve suggested throughout, your entry area is highly important for great curb appeal. And the most important element of the entry area is the front door. Painting the front door (in a dark color) often does the trick. But if it needs to be replaced, go ahead and do that – it will pay for itself at sale time.
Bonus Tip for Great Curb Appeal
Although this is a bonus tip, it could very well be the most important and critical of our tips for great curb appeal when selling your house in Baltimore. And it’s simple too: just lean on the advice and expertise of your local real estate agent. Local markets can vary widely, even in what constitutes great curb appeal because buyers in different areas want different things. But your local agent will understand what it takes for your local market.