Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 4/15/2019

Creating curb appeal is an essential ingredient to attracting potential buyers to a house for sale. Similar to the concept of "dressing for success," when you make a strong first impression, your chances for producing positive results are greatly enhanced.

Looking good from the outside is the first step to capturing people's interest, but that's only the first of several hurdles that you have to clear. The last thing you want to do as a home seller is disappoint prospective buyers when they start looking around inside. That's why it's important to start strong and finish strong! While that may be easier said than done, it's a principle of success you can't afford to ignore.

Once you put your house on the market, there are two factors that could potentially work against you: the elements of time and competition.

  • Time is of the essence: Time can either be your friend or your adversary, depending on how long your house has been on the market. When house hunters see the words "just listed," it creates a feeling of excitement and urgency. For many eager home buyers, those two words mean there's a fresh opportunity to discover the house of their dreams... or at least a reasonable facsimile! It's especially enticing to frustrated buyers who have already looked at a lot of homes, without having found the right one yet. When a new house is listed and put on the market, couples will be thinking and saying "Maybe this house will be the one!" Your challenge as a home seller is to do everything possible and cost-effective to live up to their expectations! An important factor to keep in mind is that the longer a house is on the market, the less appealing it generally is to prospective buyers. Once a house has been languishing on the market for more than a couple months or so, it also puts the sellers at a negotiating disadvantage.
  • Competition is a fact of life: Buying a house is weighty decision. No one takes it lightly, and few buyers are going to make an offer on a house if they haven't looked at several others, too. Well-organized house hunters will have wish lists, "must have" requirements, and detailed notes and recollections about how each house stacks up. So it's important to work with your real estate agent to present your home in its best possible light. When your home compares favorably to other similar properties on market, your chances of getting it sold within a reasonable period of time are greatly improved.
Maintaining an appealing exterior will help give you an inside track in the competitive real estate market, but making sure your property is in good shape from top to bottom will often be the deciding factor in how soon you get to the finish line!





Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 4/8/2019

Creating the curb appeal that you want does not have to be as complex as a full-scale remodel. If your homeís exterior is in decent condition, spend your time and budget on things that pack a big punch. Upgrade how your home looks from the street with these simple exterior, lawn, and garden hacks.

Fill planter or window boxes that hang off porch railings, or under the front windows with colorful annuals such as impatiens, begonias, or petunias. Add smaller pots of greenery into the boxes such as maidenhair fern or ivy so that you have an abundance of flora draping over the side. Adding cheery blooms to your exterior catches the eye and enhances your street-side appeal.

If installing window boxes is out of your comfort zone or might damage stucco or another exterior finish, add drama with a collection of larger and smaller pots. Fill some with plants that grow up and others with flowers that bloom in a bushy shape. Still, others can flow over the sides. Try easy-to-maintain succulents in container gardens or colorful native grasses or cacti if your climate permits. Choose pots with colors that complement the exterior of your home. Place some pots on wider steps leading up to the porch and others filled with shade-friendly plantings to either side of the front door.

Plant a fruit or flowering tree. Depending on how large the front yard is and the area available away from the foundation, an ornamental tree can boost your homeís charm. Determine the potential size the tree might grow by conferring with a nursery or arborist so that the location you choose allows the roots to take hold and not encroach on sidewalks, foundations, and drainage areas. If your home is symmetrical, consider flanking your entry or driveway with a pair of trees or bushes.

Upgrade your lighting. The porch light and carriage lamps on homes take much beating from the sun and weather. Replacing them with new fixtures that have LED bulbs might be just the thing to set your home apart from the rest. Choose a design that complements the architectural features of your home. If you cannot afford new fixtures, take down the existing ones, clean and repair them, and even spray-paint the metal before putting them back up. Replace the incandescent bulb with a soft-white LED bulb rated for outdoor use. If possible, install a lamp post in your yard that turns on at dusk and off at dawn. Select a design that enhances your home and casts a soft glow. Alternatively, add solar path lights along the walkway or to highlight a flowerbed.

Replace your mailbox. Unless it is a bricked-in version that matches the home, most curbside mailboxes end up battered and bent out of shape over time. Even bricked in boxes might have missing mortar or chipped bricks that you should repair. Replacing your dented, rusted, or old mailbox with a new one gives you an instant upgrade. Make sure to check with your local carrier, city, and neighborhood association for regulations and requirements before buying your new mailbox.

When considering whether or not to place your home on the market, talk to your real estate agent for ideas and information on making your home the most attractive in the neighborhood.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 12/24/2018

Curb appeal is paramount for a home seller. Because if you allocate time and resources to enhance your house's curb appeal, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a successful home selling experience.

There are many reasons for a home seller to improve his or her house's curb appeal, and these are:

1. You can differentiate your house from the competition.

The real estate market is fierce, and as a home seller, it is important to look for any competitive advantage. Fortunately, upgrading your house's curb appeal may help you differentiate your residence from the competition.

Remember, a home with a beautiful front lawn, flawless siding and other dazzling exterior features is more likely than other houses to make a positive first impression on buyers. If you improve your house's curb appeal, you can make your residence an attractive choice to homebuyers. And as a result, homebuyers may be drawn to your residence as soon as it becomes available.

2. You can boost the likelihood of maximizing your home sale earnings.

Optimizing the value of your home sometimes can be difficult, particularly for a seller who is unsure about how to list a residence and promote it to potential buyers. If you enhance your house's curb appeal, however, you may be able to maximize your home sale earnings.

A home with great curb appeal is likely to stand out to potential buyers, and as such, lead to many home showings. Meanwhile, if buyers like what they see, there could be lots of competition to acquire this residence. And if a seller receives multiple offers to purchase his or her home, this individual could reap the benefits of a profitable home selling experience.

3. You can speed up the house selling process.

The home selling process may be long and challenging, especially if a seller enters the real estate market without a strategy in place. Thankfully, a seller who improves his or her house's curb appeal can speed up the home selling cycle.

A house that makes a memorable first impression on buyers may prove to be a popular choice, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions. If a seller enhances a home's curb appeal, this individual can make it simple for buyers to fall in love with his or her house right away.

If you need assistance as you get ready to list your home, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can offer tips to help you improve your residence's curb appeal. Plus, as you proceed along the home selling cycle, a real estate agent will help you determine the best course of action.

Prioritize your home's curb appeal Ė you'll be glad you did. If you dedicate time and resources to improve your house's curb appeal today, you could bolster your home's appearance and make your residence a top choice in a competitive real estate market.





Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 10/31/2016

Curb appeal may very well be one of the most important aspects of a home to spruce up when selling. Why is this, you ask? First impressions. Whether it be an open house or an individual showing, the outside of a house is the first thing a homebuyer physically sees. And itís their first impression of your home. First impressions set the pace of a showing. If the landscaping is lacking or nonexistent and the homebuyer is not excited to be viewing your home then it could leave them with a less than favorable impression, all before they step foot inside. If the house is exuding with appeal the homebuyer will be excited and eager to see more. This is not to say that the homebuyer will purchase solely because of the curb appeal. The rest of the home should reflect what made that potential homeowner as excited as when they first pulled up and laid eyes on the house and accompanying land. Here are a few tips to maximize curb appeal: Paint: A fresh paint job lays the foundation of curb appeal. Painting or siding an entire home can be expensive, but painting the front door, porch and stairs can be fairly inexpensive and take only a day or two. Try adding a pop of color to the front door to really make your home stand out from the rest. Mulch: Is there anything better than freshly laid mulch? The smell alone can set the tone at a showing, but itís the color that brings it home. Try choosing dark colored mulch with a light colored home to really make it stand out. Flowers & Bushes: Who doesnít like flowers? You really canít go wrong with any type of flower; they are all beautiful. However, itís best to choose low maintenance flowers and bushes just incase the next homeowner isnít looking for extensive yard work. The added color from the flowers and bushes only enhances the amazing curb appeal you will have when youíre done. Lawn & Yard: Maintaining a healthy lawn and clean yard is essential. Burnt or patches of missing grass make the yard look unkempt and not cared for. To ensure bright, green grass invest in a spring clean up of the yard (many landscaping companies offer this service), which includes raking, fertilizing, mowing, etc. Seeding may also be necessary in areas of missing grass. Continue to water and mow throughout the spring, summer and fall for maximum beauty. Lastly, messy yards that include items that pile up over time such as toys, wood, etc. should be tidied up. Curb appeal is not only important when selling a home but also maintaining the value of a home. A house is an investment so make sure to take care of it. Creating and maintaining curb appeal is just one way of caring for your home. Now get to it and good luck!





Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 5/23/2016

With warmer weather comes greater lawn-care responsibilies. If you want your yard looking top-notch this spring, then adequate hydration is key to keeping your lawn green, healthy, and growing. During warmer months, your lawn should be soaking up about an inch of rain a week to ensure adequate root hydration. Unfortunately, New England doesn't always provide rain like clockwork. When this happens, it's up to us to guarantee our lawns the proper amount of water. A good sprinkler system will keep your lawn hydrated and happy. But before you run out and buy a few old-fashioned sprinklers, take a moment to consider other options, like a time-controlled sprinkler system. While they are more expensive, they take a lot of the guesswork out of your watering. Below, I'll list the various types of sprinklers and sprinkler systems, and the types of yards they are most effective in. Fixed Sprinklers - Ideal for small lawns, shrubbery, or ground cover, these sprinklers spray a fan of water in all directions at once. This type of sprinkler is also very useful in areas that are hard to reach with conventional watering methods. Impact Sprinklers - These sprinklers spray a jet of water that gets slightly interrupted every few seconds, causing water to cover more ground, and effectively mimicking natural rainfall. These are the types of sprinkers that make the "clicking" sound that we are used to hearing. While not as widely used as they once were, they are still in use in many lawns that are too cumbersome and large to be taken care of by a fixed sprinkler. Another great advantage of the impact sprinkler is its resistance to clogging, which makes it the ideal candidate for homes that use well water. Drip Hoses - These are ideal for long strips of lawn, raised vegetable or flower beds, and irregularly-shaped lawns, with the added bonus of being environmentally friendly. Because of evaporation and runoff, most sprinkler systems use more water than they need to. Drip hoses release water directly into the ground, putting water where its needed most; the roots. The drip hose is generally laid out in a pattern, and waters your lawn and garden through small holes spaced throughout the hose. The water pressure generated is also very low, which adds a bonus to people who live in areas where water use may be restriced in the drier months. In-Ground Sprinklers - While this option will cost more to install, the aesthetic benefits of an easily-concealable irrigation system cannot be denied. In-ground systems can vary from simple layouts with fixed times, to sophisticated systems that utilize many different types of sprinklers, and operate on a need-for-water basis. If you were to decide to install the system yourself, you'll first need to obtain the layout of the pipes and lines in your property before digging your ditches. Doing the installation yourself will generally save you about 60% in total costs, but will require a fair amount of work on your part. For more information on how to self-install an in-ground sprinkler system, as well as pricing, please visit the following link. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,641780,00.html