No Gnome Zone: Don’t Make These 7 Curb Appeal Mistakes

Written by  //  March 24, 2014  //  Yard and Garden  //  Comments Off on No Gnome Zone: Don’t Make These 7 Curb Appeal Mistakes

Driving through various neighborhoods, you see a house sporting a flock of pink plastic flamingoes outside. Driving by another house, you see a small child hiding in the bushes. Wait – what? Oh, it’s just one of those garden gnomes. You throw up a little in your mouth, and cringe. Who would do that to their house? Who would buy a house with all that lawn garbage in it? Well, take a look at your own home. Are you making any of these dumb landscaping mistakes?

The Cars Out Front

You probably don’t think about your car parks out front when you think about "curb appeal." However, leaving your vehicles out front tells potential buyers that there’s not enough space in the home to fit everything you own. While that could also indicate that you just own a lot of stuff, potential buyers tend not to see it that way. Instead, they come to the table with their own perspective – seeing that they need to upgrade and that they want a home that is big enough.

The implication is simple but strong: your home is too small. Even if you just innocently park your vehicle outside because you’re washing it, it could send the wrong signal.

The Unkempt Neighbors

Real estate agent referral services like Agent Harvest are quick to point out that location matters. That’s not new news or anything, but many homeowners are baffled as to why their home isn’t selling. They’ve done everything right.

Even if you spend the money to remodel, nasty or unclean neighbors can tank the value of your house quickly. If your neighbor has a lawn that’s overgrown, offer to trim it for him or her. That’s a neighborly thing to do, and it will help you sell your house.

Personal Things

Don’t put lawn ornaments outside when you’re trying to sell the house. Religious symbols, little gnomes, flamingoes, and even innocent-looking lawn ornaments have a place – in your garage. When you’re selling your home, depersonalize.

They See Dead Things

Don’t let dead plants and shrubbery make your potential buyer think you’ve not taken care of the place. What you see as "normal," your buyer might take as a sign. Dead plants and shrubs hanging around doesn’t just say "this guy doesn’t do lawn work." It says "what else hasn’t he taken care of?" Buyers might erroneously think that you haven’t really bothered to take care of other more important things like the furnace or the foundation. Actions speak louder than words. Keep your lawn looking good.

House Neglect

If you’ve got shutters that are hanging on by a single nail, dirty siding, warped siding or wood clapboard, or a shed that’s being held together with paint, it’s time to do some upkeep around the home. Potential buyers notice this kind of thing.

Bad Paint Job

Bad paint jobs are bad for selling homes. If you’ve got a pink house with orange trim, it might appeal to you, but it’s probably not going to fetch the highest price in the marketplace. Look around at other, similar homes in your neighborhood. These are the colors that sell.

Too Much Work For The New Buyer

You love your garden out front. In fact, you joined the growing popular "grow food, not lawns" movement. But, maybe the new buyer won’t like the upkeep. If you have a large garden out front that requires a lot of maintenance, it might just cost you the sale. You’ll have to talk with your real estate agent to figure out how to sell the new homeowner on maintenance costs that he’ll undoubtedly incur.

Arthur Young is passionate about real estate. From staging to sales negotiation, he enjoys writing about the tips and tricks to buying and selling in today’s housing market.

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