9 Ways To Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

First impressions matter. Many buyers will drive by your home before they take the next step. You will not get a second chance at first impression.

Download this checklist to make the outside of your home looks as inviting as what’s inside.

Here are nine simple ways to easily boost your home’s curb appeal.

Open up the street view

You want buyers to be able to see your home from the curb. If you have trees blocking the view of your home, you might want to prune some of the lower branches.

Removing the dead parts of plants goes a long way to making the view from the street better. 

Walk out to the street and take a look as if it was your first time looking at your home. Take note of anything that looks wrong and make a plan to fix it. 

Remove trash and personal items

Our personal items mean a lot to us and it is often difficult to pack them up. But buyers are more attracted to yards that feel clear and spacious. If your yard is cluttered, it’s time to pick things up. 

Nice patio furniture and eclectic potted plants are fine. But anything that is highly personal needs to be removed. 

When buyers see personal items such as a weight set, boating gear, or your latest project, they have a hard time picturing this as their yard (their home). They may not bother to make an appointment to view the inside. 

You don’t have to throw your things away, but you need to get them out of sight. 

If you have a lot of trash, consider hiring a hauler to take it away. Vallejo Recology will also do two bulk pickups per year. 

Dust the outside of your house

Most yards could use a good brush down.

Dead leaves caught inside of shrubs or on fences look horrible. Cobwebs are a big turn off. The older they get, the dustier and more unappealing they look.

An exterior cobweb duster with extension pole can be easily purchased at a hardware store. The extension pole will help you reach 20 or 30 feet up. You can clean the cobwebs, leaves, and dirt off your windows, molding, trim, and gutters. 

Dust your yard as well. Pay special attention to fences, trees and shrubs. Once you start dusting your yard, you will be amazed by how much better things look.

Give your yard a spray down

You know how fresh and clean everything feels after a rain. There is a reason. Before the rain everything was dirty.

Here in Vallejo it can easily be 6 months between good rains. If it has been a while since the last rain, then you should give your yard a good spray down. Washing all the plants and surfaces will help your curb appeal tremendously.

Fertilize

We want your yard to look its best. 

Most yard plants are malnourished. If you have a few weeks before listing your home, you should fertilize. For faster results, use a fertilizer you can spray from your garden hose. 

Plants will start to look better in a few short weeks.

Add some flowers

A pop of color can go a long way to boost curb appeal. The flowers could be planted in pots or in the ground. Make sure to choose flowers which will stay in bloom for months.

Impatiens come in many colors, and are very tolerant of shaded areas. They bloom most of the spring and summer. Many will stay in bloom until winter. 

These versatile flowers are easy to plant and can also be bought in flats, which makes them more economical.

Repair visible defects

Buyers will judge your home by what they see from the street. A missing board doesn’t mean that your home has been neglected, but to a potential buyer standing on the curb, it can feel that way.

It is amazing that one broken board in your picket fence could lower your curb appeal, but it can.

Look around and pay attention to details. Make sure everything outside your home looks cared for.

Don’t forget the sidewalk

It is common to see homes for sale with trash and weeds on the sidewalk in front of the house. We recommend spraying weeds with vinegar. Once they’re dead, cut them out of the sidewalk with a carpet knife. 

Just because your curb looks great that doesn’t mean buyers are not going to look at the whole block. You may need to do a street sweep or kill more weeds for other homes as well. 

Your neighbors will think you’re crazy, but they’ll love you for it and you’ll raise the perceived value of everybody’s home—including yours.

Pressure wash your house and walkways

We have heard painters complain of jobs canceled after pressure washing. Sometimes a home just needs a scrub down. 

You can buy a small pressure washer for around $100, or rent a much higher quality machine for a day at about the same price. 

Use a pressure washer with care. High pressure can strip away paint, especially if your paint is visibly loose. Windows on historic homes are not tightly sealed, and should be lightly washed.

Always start with the minimum pressure, and never use more pressure than you need. Just like when cleaning your car, you want to soap up your house and gently (very gently) scrub and rinse. 

Don’t forget that you can probably hire a painter to do the pressure washing for you in a few hours.

If you have a one-story home, you might be able to simply clean your home with a car hose and soft car scrubber.

Don’t forget to use that pressure washer on your sidewalks and driveway too! Cement can clean up nicely.

Get the Road Map

See the entire listing process with the Seller Road Map Infographic. 

This step-by-step infographic illustrates the sales process from prepping your house to accepting an offer.

Feel confident. Print this infographic to know what to do and when at a glance.

 

 

Action steps

Don’t miss anything when you spruce up your yard. Download the Total Yard Clean Checklist 

When you’re ready to prepare your home inside and out,  Use the Prep Your Home For Sale Checklist.

Get all the worksheet and checklists you need in one place. Unlock the Seller Toolbox.

 

 

3 DIY Projects For Sellers With Huge ROI

Man with dog building kitchen cabinets and using a cordless drill

Man with dog building kitchen cabinets and using a cordless drill

 How you prepare your home for sale can have a big impact. Get organized with these steps to prepare your home for sale.

Here are three DIY projects for a great return on your investment.

 

Pressure wash your Historic Home

Would you sell a car without washing it? The same is true for a house. Sometimes a home’s exterior needs a good cleaning. 

We’ve heard painters complain of jobs canceled after pressure washing. It can make that big of a difference.

Your home may not need a paint job, but we’ve found it will always benefit from being clean. 

You can buy an inexpensive pressure washer for less than $100, or rent a higher-quality pressure washer for about $100 a day at Vallejo All Star Rents

Be as gentle as you can!

Using full pressure on a wooden deck or house paint could easily peel the paint. Start with the misting setting, then add more pressure as needed.

Just like with a car wash, you will want to use some suds and a gentle (GENTLE!!) scrub brush (really soft) if you can reach.

Many people don’t realize that Historic doors and windows are usually not sealed. Be careful. Leaking water could cause damage.

If you’re concerned about damage, you can hire a painter to pressure wash your home for you.

If a pressure wash seems like too much work, try a spray down with a garden hose. Just washing off the dust and cobwebs can make a real difference!

If your home has paint that is ready to peel off, don’t use a pressure washer. It is likely to make the problem worse. 

Total yard clean up

Getting the outside of your home prepped for a sale can be easy and fun.

To help you get started we created a Total Yard Clean Checklist for you. 

Start early and hire help as needed. 

You don’t want to take a portrait right after getting a haircut, and it is the same with pruning. It should be one of your first tasks. 

If your photo day is coming in the next few weeks, take it easy on the plants. You want them looking healthy and full. 

Get the junk out, even if it takes a trip to the dump. Don’t forget to clean in front of your home too. 

Vallejo Recology will do a pick up twice per year for all customers at no extra charge. If you need an additional pick up, they will do it for a fee. There are restrictions. You can call them directly at this number (707) 552-3110.

You may want to give the block a quick clean up. We recommend spraying weeds with pure vinegar rather than poison (it is always nice to avoid poison).

Cobwebs on fences, trees and shrubs make the yard look messy and unkempt. Remove them.

A cobweb duster on an extension pole is an inexpensive tool that will come in very handy.  

Here in Vallejo, we can easily go 6 months without rain. Most yards are dustier than you think. A good spray down will go a long way to spruce up your yard.

Depending on the season, it may be time to plant some flowers. If you have a few weeks before you list, use water soluble fertilizer to help your plants look their best.

Operation Declutter

Imagine what it feels like in a total stranger’s home. That’s how buyers feel. It’s very hard for a buyer to relax and feel “at home” in someone else’s space.

Buyers may not feel there is room for them if there is too much of the owner’s stuff in the way.

You are going to pack and move anyway. One of the highest leverage tasks you can do is to pack early.

It seems far-fetched, but we’ve seen buyers looking at walk-in closets full of clothes and saying, “There is no room for my stuff!” as if the sellers were leaving their clothes behind.

Buyers understand your basement, extra bedroom, or garage is filled with boxes. They know you’re moving. 

But for reasons known only to buyers, they won’t understand a full closet. Don’t traumatize  them.

Pack at least half your clothes. Doing this makes closets look spacious.

Remove magnets from your refrigerator, along with the things they are holding up. Clear your counters and shelves of knick-knacks. 

It is important to pack your family photos. If buyers see these photos, it is hard for them to imagine they’re standing in their new home.

Decluttering can be difficult and emotional. It’s not easy to pack up years of memories or figure out what to throw away. 

But a clean, mostly empty home creates space for buyers to dream and hope for the future. Their dreams lead to your sale. 

Get the Road Map

Now you can see the entire listing process with the Seller Road Map Infographic. 

This step-by-step infographic illustrates the sales process from prepping your house to accepting an offer.

Feel confident. Print this infographic to know what to do and when at a glance.

 

 

Action Steps

How much ROI can you expect? Download this worksheet.

Want a room-by-room cleaning guide? Try this house cleaning checklist.

If you would like some more insights, read the Guide to a Stress-Free Historic Home Sale.

If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves, Download the Prepping Your Home For Sale Checklist.

 

 

 

 

 

Examples Of Marketing That Works

Happy woman relaxing in office resting and raising fists with ambition looking forward to city building urban scene through glass window

Happy woman relaxing in office resting and raising fists with ambition looking forward to city building urban scene through glass window

Video has overtaken all forms of real estate marketing

Buyers are now online. They chat with friends and family online. They mostly hang out on social media.

Marketing that works targets buyers where they are.

Scripted videos used as social media ads are the most successful marketing tool we’ve ever created.

Facebook and Instagram currently provide the best dollar for dollar return on ad money, far eclipsing anything by print ads, but most users just scroll right past.

Make them stop scrolling and click

Average real estate videos are just a bunch of photos strung together. While normal on the MLS, this won’t work with social media marketing.

Attention-grabbing video makes them stop scrolling. But photos still tell the story. That is why we put high quality images in our scripted video.

Our Historic Home Marketing Plan includes a specific process to get users to stop scrolling, watch and share! The secret sauce is having something the viewer wants.

Marketing that works shatters the buyer’s concentration. It wakes them up from their everyday life and makes them ask, “how can I learn more?”

If you would like to discuss how our video ads can improve your Historic Home’s listing, please schedule a quick Zoom conversation.

Photos pull buyers in

Most people have strong reactions to images. That’s why we use high-dynamic-range photography (HDR) to make your home jump off the page.

A high-dynamic-range photo is composed of 5 identical photos taken with different exposures, to correctly expose for every part of the image. Then all 5 photos are digitally assembled into one.

The end result is a stunning improvement over regular professional photography. More importantly, we shoot these photos with a plan.

The whole purpose of photos is to show off the special value of your home and the benefits of living there.

Marketing that works tells a story. It addresses the needs of the buyer and inspires their emotions.

Engage the buyer before they click away

We need to convince the buyer to make the drive to your home before they click away. Once they are gone they may not come back.

One of the reasons for the listing is to get buyers to commit to visiting your home. If they live outside Vallejo, they may be even more reluctant to make the drive.

Buyers need answers before they commit. A 3D tour will let a buyer immediately take a virtual “walk through.”

Marketing that works is immediate. It works before doubt has a chance to stop the conversion.

Show your home at a glance

 

Some buyers are old fashioned. They don’t know how to use the 3D tour. Drawings of the floor plan are great for buyers like these.

They also allow for a quick and simple understanding of how your home is laid out. You can understand in a glance.

Give your buyer multiple opportunities to say, “I’ve got to see this place!”

Everyone has their own preferences for how they gather information. This is why we include scripted video, HDR photos, a 3D tour, a floor plan, and detailed downloads like this one.

Marketing that works is all about reaching the buyer with the media they want.

Get the most out of marketing

Buyers are already responding to video in much greater numbers, and they are far more likely to visit a home if it has a video.

Video ads drive traffic, but we need a place to send your traffic. This is why we build your home its own website.

The MLS and syndicates like Zillow and Realtor have rules. On your website we make the rules, so we can do what is best for you.

Using our unique marketing process, we have had over 10,000 users visit one listing. That is the power of linking a scripted video ad to a stand alone web page.

Action Steps

Identify the unique qualities that will make your home stand out. Download this worksheet.

To talk about how our custom marketing can help you, Schedule a Zoom meeting.