Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Better Homes Have Better Gardens

OK, so it's that time of year...again....selling season at it's peak!  So how do you stand out from the rest of the sellers out there? Well, first impression is key!  Whether you are selling you primary residence or an income property, the exterior or better known as curb appeal is so important.  But can you keep those costs of sprucing up your place low? Of course, this time of year there are many places that offer gardening tools and materials at great prices.  The best way to keep your costs down is doing the work yourself - if you don't have a clue where to start seek some advice from a professional (that is a service that is available but not usually offered unless you ask for it).  Landscapers can provide you with a plan and/or types of plants that would work best on your property without them actually doing the labour - so don't be shy and ask.

So what should you at least consider doing to your property to increase the value?

Pressure wash, if you don't have one ask around or rent from a home improvement store.  pressure wash your walls, decks, walkways, pool deck, parking areas doesn't take too much sweat equity and wow, it makes a huge impact!

- Interlocking, if your interlock bricks have weeds growing between them - remove them.  if your interlock bricks are sinking or cracked - fix them.  the early spring is the best time to tackle this job because the weeds aren't too unruly but either way, it makes a good impression no matter when it's done.

- Colour, some simple flower beds can go a long way and add a lot of visual interest to your property.  not only will it look attractive but it will send the message to buyers that this property is 'cared for'.  look at perennials as they come back every year and add a few annuals with colour they tend to be cheaper and colourful too.pansies in the spring/summer and look for mums in the late summer/fall.

- Trim, just how your own hair can look unkempt if it isn't trimmed regularly so can your hedges and shrubs.  but sure to give them a trim so they look clean and tidy plus trimming makes the bushes fuller too.

- Urns or hanging baskets, so even if you cannot afford the time, money or energy to planting a flower bed you can at least head off to a home improvement store, garden store or even a grocery store to purchase some pre-planted baskets that can be hung or placed in urns by the door.  this will add some colour and make the entry feel warm and inviting.  If you have the flower beds, I recommend urns and look for pre-planted baskets with a similar colour palette to what you planted.  if you have pink, purple and yellow flowers planted in the beds - don't get baskets with red and blue flowers!

- Lighting, be sure the light bulbs in your exterior lights are not burnt out.  remember not everyone looking to buy your home will be driving by in broad daylight - many drive bys occur after dinner.  another great way to light up your home is solar garden lights - they are easy to install, they can come with you to your next home and they are Eco-friendly.  line them up along a walkway or place them among your garden to show off the plants and flowers - a lot of buyers love a landscaped home.

- Paint, don't paint the grass green but be sure that your exterior paint job looks tight!  look at the porch, door, stairs etc...if the paint is looking dull, cracked and/ or chipped - it's time to freshen up! maybe even try a different colour - don't get too crazy you still want mass appeal!

- Maintenance, yes I know it's a drag but it is important when selling to make sure you keep the home looking picture perfect - mow the lawn, weed the garden, replace burnt out light bulbs, trim the hedges, water the grass, plants and flowers.  if you have kids, try not to have a front porch or lawn covered in kids toys and strollers.  it will be worth it in the end and homes that show well don't take long to sell, so you won't be maintaining this home forever.

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