Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Home Sellers Yield High Returns Investing in Curb Appeal

(ARA) - When selling a home it pays to perk up where you park. “A remodeled kitchen and bath can help sell a home, but curb appeal is what gets buyers through the door,” says Betty Jane Garrett, a licensed agent with Paradigm Realty in Oklahoma City. “If they don’t like what they see from the street chances are they won’t waste time going inside.”

An old worn out garage door, even on the cutest house, can change “Honey, stop the car,” into “Keep driving,” in an instant.

Realtors in a nationwide survey say replacing your garage door prior to listing your home can increase its curb appeal and the asking price -- anywhere from one to four percent. That's no surprise considering homeowner demand for more storage space has made three-car garages an architectural standard, not to mention, a major design focal point.

If you are thinking of upgrading your home’s garage appeal you may want to consider something more than a standard steel panel door. According to “Professional Builder” magazine, designer garage doors are one of the "50 Must-Have Features for Today's Home Buyers."

“We had a seller last fall who replaced existing 70s style flush panel garage doors with Clopay carriage house style doors and it changed the entire look of the house,” adds Garrett. “It sold for full asking price the first day on the market and the owners made a profit. The interior had been upgraded -- but it was the exterior that the buyers fell in love with at first sight.”

Garrett offers these additional suggestions to help take your home from “for sale” to “sold.”

1. Paint the front door a bright color. Nothing says welcome home like a cheerful front entry. It’s an easy affordable way to freshen up a paint scheme without having to repaint the entire exterior.

2. Change out-dated light fixtures -- or add lights if you don't have some already. Light up your doorways, driveway and walkways. Better to have more lights at lower wattages than one, very bright one. Spotlights angled to highlight trees and bushes create a dramatic nighttime effect. Solar lights that charge during the day are easy to install yourself.

3. Mulch. It makes landscaping and beds look tidy, crisp and well maintained and helps minimize weeding.

4. Plant flowers. This is always money well spent because it adds charm and life to any exterior. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, invest in some planters and have a local nursery fill them with annuals that thrive in your climate and place them at major entry points.

5. Re-surface your driveway. Instead of a black top or smooth concrete, consider stained or stamped concrete patterns. This can do wonders for curb appeal.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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