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5 easy projects that raise your listing’s value

by James F. McClister

home-value-curb-appeal-real-estate-improve-listing-realtor-agent

It’s simple: curb appeal helps sell homes. So as an agent, it’s in your best interest to do all you can to improve a property’s appeal.

Not only does a well-maintained yard and home exterior help attract buyers, it also works to justify a higher sale price. According to economist John Harris, good landscaping can translate into a 28 percent bump to any given home’s value, while the National Association of Realtors claimed that something as simple as washing a home can garner an additional $10,000 to $15,000 when closing the sale.

Below are a few quick and relatively easy tips to help improve your client’s home’s curb appeal:

Use your elbows (and clean) – As I alluded to above, the cost benefit of scrubbing down a home’s exterior is beyond worth it. What that entails is washing windows and removing the grime and mildew from siding, bricks and garage doors (or any other surface that needs it.) Power washers can generally be rented for less than $100, which, when you consider the estimated five-digit return, is well worth it.

Pick resonating plants – Smells can be a powerfully positive trigger for people, which is why a home for sale should leverage the natural scents of nature to create an inviting and memorable entrance for any potential buyers. And while flowers (probably roses) are likely the first thing that come to mind when you think “natural scents,” don’t limit yourself – consider herbs as well. Fine Gardening suggests planting Oriental Lilies, Black Negligee and Monias, among others.

Repair the disrepair – A gutter sagging from the rooftop is a fine complement to a car parked on the lawn, but that’s not exactly the décor most homebuyers are looking for. A shoddy exterior not only drives down the value of a home, but it can usurp the appeal of an entire neighborhood. So help your clients replace broken windows, fill driveway cracks and, of course, refasten or replace sagging gutters.

Liven up the doorway – It’s common knowledge that a good front door is a surefire way to start a showing off on the right foot. A small, green accent like a container garden or a seasonal wreath can give some much-needed color and character to an area of the house that might otherwise be relatively barren.

Accent the drive – An asphalt driveway bordered by nothing but green lawn may make a flat and uninviting impression. A great way to frame the drive and give it a more crisp, designed look is to edge it with materials like bricks or paving stones. This may seem like a minor detail, but this small project can set a house apart.

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