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HomeHomes
Published: Friday, 4/24/2009

How to Improve Your Home's Curb Appeal

(ARA) - Does your home have curb appeal? Better make sure the answer is "YES" before you put it on the market. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), it just may make the difference between selling your property quickly, or having it linger on the market for months.

Just a few short years ago, when mortgage rates were low and the economy was booming, homes were selling almost as quickly as they hit the market. NAR statistics show it is now taking an average of four weeks to sell a home.

If it's taking longer than that in your case, there may be a good reason. Perhaps your asking price is too high, or there's too much competition in the surrounding neighborhood. Both are problems you can easily deal with.

Ask your realtor to run a report on comparables to see if your price is indeed too high, and in the meantime, drive up to your home and pretend you're a potential buyer. What is the first thing you notice?

If your attention is focused on cracks in the driveway, paint on the shutters that's peeling and dead branches hanging from the trees, it won't take long before you come to the realization that your home isn't selling because it lacks curb appeal. So what can you do about it? Make a list of the projects you need to complete right away, then run out to the closest home improvement store and buy your supplies.

The driveway

Often the first step a perspective buyer takes on your property is on the driveway, so make sure it makes the right impression. If your driveway is gray and weathered, or worse, cracked and crumbling, this may scare off buyers. The good news is that repairing and beautifying your driveway can be done quickly and easily, and wow, what a difference it makes.

Start by thoroughly cleaning the surface with a spray on driveway cleaner and letting it dry completely. Once the surface is clean, you can apply your sealer using an applicator that has a squeegee on one side and a brush on the other to spread and smooth the mixture.

There are a lot of asphalt sealers on the market, but do you and your eventual buyer a favor by investing in a product that beautifies and protects. Black Jack Drive-Maxx 700 is a better quality blacktop filler and sealer that contains sand particles to help fill in the small cracks in the surface and it is enhanced with latex which helps with durability. It is a gel based sealer that applies faster, easier and with less mess, what a combination!

It would also be a good idea to have a bottle of Black Jack Blacktop Crack Filler on hand in case cracks should form after the driveway has been resurfaced. You can find both the crack filler and blacktop sealer at Lowe's and other home improvement stores nationwide. Log on to www.gardner-gibson.com for access to a store locator.

Paint

If the paint on the shutters is peeling away, but the rest of the house looks okay, take the shutters down and repaint them. You may want to repaint the front door to match as well. It would also be a good idea to pressure wash the house and sidewalks, particularly if there are water or dirt marks from the sprinklers.

Landscaping

As far as the landscaping goes, start by removing all the dead branches and leaves from your trees and shrubs, and making sure they have shape to them. Overgrown plants are a big turn off.

You should also be sure the lawn is well maintained. If you don't have time to cut it every week, and remove the weeds, hire someone to do it for you. And if there's no color in the yard right now, add some. Pansies, petunias, marigolds and daisies look great whether they're planted in flower beds or in pots by the front door. Either way, be sure to cover the dirt with mulch, which holds moisture and prevents weed growth.

Other tricks you can try to improve your home's curb appeal, get a new front door, wash the siding and front windows and replace the weathered mailbox and house numbers. In the grand scheme of things, these small investments will pay huge dividends. They'll set your home apart from the competition!

Courtesy of ARAcontent



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