Ask a Realtor

We’re not really gardeners and we’ve received feedback that the home could use more curb appeal; how do we do that?

As of July 1st, there were 395 homes on sale in Aurora of all descriptions, with various uniqueness.  As a Seller, it’s important to try to be as unbiased as possible and take a look at the home through the eyes of the Buyer to improve the home as much as possible to increase it’s appeal indoors and out.  If we focus on curb appeal or specifically the outdoor appearance of the home to attract the most interest of those driving by, seeking the neighbourhood and removing the hesitation that’s delaying Buyer’s from taking action there is much a home owner can do which could help.

Cleaning the home exterior by power washing it including the eavestrough, downspouts, windows and doors, decks, fences, driveways, walkways and patios would be a great first step.  For stubborn dirt, stains and build up various cleaners for the surfaces being washed may be purchased at a local home improvement store.  Be sure to remove debris from eavestrough and weeds from walkways and driveway. Repaint doors to give a welcoming first impression.  Assess the condition of outbuildings and the home and it may be prudent to scrape and repaint areas where paint is chipping or add caulking around windows where it has shrunk over time.  Replace screens in doors and windows that are torn. Replace light fixtures and lightbulbs that are not functioning or are dated and not in good condition.

With summer here and rain at it’s minimum it’s important to water grass consistently where possible because a green lawn will always be more attractive than a dead lawn even though water bills may increase for the summer season.  Cut the grass regularly and not too short and use an electric string trimmer to finish cutting in gardens and corners that the lawn mower may miss.  Speak to professionals if you need assistance reducing weeds and improving the lawns appearance.  Cut away dead branches, dead plants and shrubs and divide overgrown perennials.  Add healthy species of plants and shrubs in areas that have large gaps in planting material or you may want to add in landscaping rocks of all sizes. Add topsoil or mulch to not only dress up flower beds but to retain moisture.  Trim shrubs and evergreens that seem to be growing out of control or consider replacing ones that are overgrown and encroaching on walkways or other outdoor living areas.  Consult experts at your local greenhouse if you’re unsure of how to prune or divide plants or need some ideas on what to plant.  Having a clean and well maintained exterior space is much more important than buying a multitude of new plants that may not be able to be maintained. How does the swimming pool look?  How does the pond look?  Remove stagnant water, treat pools to clear up water issues, add a pump to cycle in ponds if necessary and consult a professional if needed.

Remove as much debris as possible around the property. When the home is sold, most Buyer’s will ask for all debris to be removed, so doing the work in advance will reduce the amount of work later.  If shingles should be removed and replaced contact at least two or three recommended companies for an estimate as prices can vary drastically.  Gardens can be added or removed if there’s just too much and many garden centres and landscaping professionals can consult with you to create an affordable plan of improvement custom to the home.

Finally, set the stage outdoors with furniture where there’s room and arrangements to maximize the appearance of outdoor living space.  Replace cushions or broken furniture and refinish items in poor condition.  Buyer’s will appreciate the efforts made by Seller’s and this may improve the likelihood of getting the home from for sale to sold.

written by Connie Power

Connie Power is a Real Estate Sales Representative CNE® SRS® ABR® SRES® and
New Agent Mentor and Career Development for RE/MAX Hallmark York Group Realty Ltd.,  Brokerage serving York region and beyond.  EmPOWERing YOU in Real ESTATE!

*Statistics were provided by the MLS® Regional Housing Market Tables Report York Region, Aurora: May 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 and April 2018.

**Not intended to solicit those currently under a real estate contract