Can you tell what’s going on inside a house just by looking at the outside of a home? Some believe you can! 

While driving through neighborhoods my buyers have noticed there were huge differences in the condition of gardens and lawns.

Some lawns were perfectly manicured as if the home owner plucked each weed with a tweezers every day.  Others looked like a green lunar landscape with weeds and different grass types, clover patches and brown spots everywhere.  As human nature is, the mind starts to wander and theorize why one home owner’s lawn is so meticulous and another looks like a train wreck.  Is one the one home owner with the meticulous lawn also maintaining the interior of the home in the same manner and likewise the train wreck lawn reflective of the interior of the home?  Believe it or not the answer is mostly YES!  One also ponders does the home with the train wreck lawn reflect some sort of distress within the home?  Home buyers are ALWAYS looking for a deal and can spot a distressed home in a nano-second.  How obvious does that foreclosure home down the street stick out with the overgrown weeds, dead patches and faded garden beds that once was someone’s pride and joy?  That home’s appearance is a dead give-away that a deal is to be had on that house!

Sellers frequently overlook the condition of their yard prior to placing their home on the market.  Your first impression to buyers has a huge effect on the overall curb appeal of a home.  When you are selling your house it’s all about getting the highest dollar offers in the least amount of time.  Every detail matters from the weeds in the lawn to the fresh mulch and annuals in the beds.  A freshly painted front door and shutters, to new front door handles light fixtures.  The sure sign of a distressed home are overgrown weeds, the lack of annuals, faded shutters, front doors with aged brass door handles, light fixtures with dead bugs and spider webs and an old worn doormat with mold growing on the sides. The front walkway is stained black from lack of maintenance with weeds growing through the cracks.  The worst signs of distress come when you see weeds growing from the roof gutters.  Now that’s a sure-fire sign of a deal to be had!   This stuff seems pretty obvious when you read it but folks I see this stuff every day.  It’s not rocket science but home owners overlook these details for several reasons: too busy, too broke, divorce, impending short sale or foreclosure or illness.  All those signs signal distress opportunities.

Smart sellers prepare a year in advance in the fall by hiring a professional landscaper company to cultivate their lawn to look its best by spring.  They plant healthy annuals in the early spring, bring in fresh mulch prior to putting the home on the market, power wash the walkways and driveway and have the windows washed regularly while on the market.  Professional landscapers also give your freshly cut lawn that fancy criss-cross pattern that makes you want to say….Oh Yeah!  That home looks awesome!!!

So does your home have the foreclosure look and you were hoping to get top dollar on the market this spring?  Better make a plan and get to work, you’ll be glad you did when you sell your home for top dollar.

By Nadine Wynn

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