Real Talk: Make a good first impression

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Real Talk: Make a good first impression
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By Diann Carlson

Curb appeal: You’ve heard the phrase before, but what does it really mean?

When the time is “now” to sell your house, it’s worth the time to Google the definition: “Attractiveness of the exterior of a residential property, as viewed from the street.”

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Let’s dive more deeply into this sometimes-misunderstood concept. Believe it or not, your property’s front exterior photo can generate initial interest from prospective buyers — or not.

Has your house been painted recently? Have your windows been washed? What about your landscaping, is it trimmed neatly? Do you have fresh mulch?

Don’t overlook the condition of your “hardscaping.” Do your brick walkways need a good power-washing? In the wintertime, buyers are more willing to overlook imperfect lawns or bare shrubbery, but, come springtime, sellers must up their game. It’s worth the expense to hire a professional landscaping crew to do the heavy lifting for you. Be sure that no tree branches are touching your roof line or diminishing the “view” of the house itself.

If you reside in Old Town and your home perches directly onto the sidewalk, it is still a great idea to refresh your paint, clean the windows and verify that your planting pots have fresh, in-season greenery. Evergreens are great in the winter months, and the miniature variety is ideal for urban gardens.

Toss those dead plants from last summer and any other unphotogenic distractions that could ruin your photo session just before your house goes up for sale.

Your listing agent will work with you to prepare your property for visits from interested buyers. To ensure that you have lots of interest, your front exterior photo can be one of your strongest marketing tools.

If you need a bit of inspiration, walk around the neighborhood in search of the most attractive homes. Take your cues from your neighbors with respect to paint choices, if appropriate.

Finally, in scheduling your photo shoot, ensure that the time of day coordinates with the time that the sun shines most brightly onto the front exterior of the house. A blue-sky in the background is always delightful, if the weather cooperates.

We only get one shot at making a great first impression — planning for the photo shoot can be your first step toward success.

The writer is an associate broker with Weichert Old Town and has been in practice since 1984.

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