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Get ready to sell, and enjoy now! Part 2 - Exterior

Blog by Robert Matthews | May 30th, 2020

You know what they say - it's all about the curb appeal. And in this unpredictable market, a bit of time, money and effort spent on your home's exterior may result in many thousands of dollars more to your bottom line. As always, the name of the game is maximizing the sale price you get for your home. Even if you're not sure if and when you plan to sell, keeping up with maintenance and outdoor projects is always a good thing. Less to do later, more enjoyment for you now. 

Looking to spruce up your interior? See Part 1 of this series here.

So along with minor repairs and maintenance and updates inside your home (see last week’s blog post here), you'll want to spruce up the outside of your home as well. First impressions start from the outside, and the exterior will show up in photos across a multitude of websites, etc. This is definitely an area worth spending the money on.

(Special note to condo owners: Much of the following will not apply to your situation, with the exception of sprucing up your outdoor space, whether a small balcony or an expansive deck. However, do what you can to encourage your strata council to spruce up the building and grounds, for everyone’s benefit (landscaping, pressure washing, etc.). You may need to start this encouragement early on – i.e., several weeks or a few months before you’re thinking of listing your condo.)

Here’s a list of items I recommend my clients begin working on a few weeks prior to listing their home: 

  • Fix or replace damaged or worn out:

    • decking

    • railings

    • steps and walkways (e.g., cracked or broken concrete)

    • fences

    • gutters

    • windows

    • light fixtures

  • Touch up exterior paint and trim. Consider a fresh coat of paint for all exterior areas.

  • Power-wash concrete surfaces and stucco; as well as decks and even patio furniture. Whether you do it yourself or hire someone, this will pay off when it comes time to sell.   

  • A freshly painted front door sets a good first impression. Ensure the entire front entrance is clean and clear of debris and extraneous items. If you can swing it, consider replacing the door entirely if it's particularly worn or out dated.

  • Clear the garage. If possible, vehicles only!  Store boxes, toys, and out-of-season sporting equipment elsewhere. Clean floors and walls.

  • Spruce up your lawn. Replace dead or dry patches with fresh turf. Feed and water regularly.

  • Trim trees and hedges. Consider flower or shrub plantings to freshen your garden. For a relatively inexpensive investment, you can transform how your exterior looks by trimming back and freshening things up with new plants and landscaping.

  • Consider freshening garden beds and unfinished yard areas with a layer of bark mulch.

A few days before the first showings:

  • Sweep driveways and sidewalks; rake lawns if necessary.

  • Ensure all outdoor clutter is removed – garden tools, toys, etc.

  • Place a large pot of seasonal flowers at the front entrance, and on decks and patios. This is a relatively small cost that result in big curb appeal.

  • Get a new doormat for your front entrance.

  • Mow the lawn; ensure gardens are neat and weeded.

  • Plant some colourful flowers in garden beds.

  • Clean the outside of windows.

A few words about the roof

It might not be glamorous, but buyers are looking at big-ticket items like the age and condition of the roof. If it's on its last leg, you might seriously need to consider replacing it as it could be inpsection issue as well as factor into the kind of financing the buyer is able to obtain as well as insurability of a property.

In some areas, appraisers may insist that a roof to be replaced, for example, as a condition of getting a green light for financing.
Replacing a roof that is at the end of its life before putting your home on the market will go a long way to solidifying buyer confidence in deciding to make an offer.

The buyer (and you) won’t have to sweat what an inspector says, deal with a potential renegotiation before subject removal or face a price reduction. The last thing you want to be doing is putting on a new roof in the midst of trying to pack.