Everyone grew up in a neighborhood that has that house. The yard was a clutter of weeds and broken bottles, and an overgrown trellis masked the front door. You were scared to pass by at night.
In what has become one of the most-challenging housing markets ever, you’d be surprised how many people with homes like this think they’ll sell them. All things being equal, a would-be buyer will take the clean, attractive, uncluttered home and yard. Here are great ways to send buyers packing:
Valley of the curb appeal monster
I was stunned to find this photo at Ugly House Photos. The home backed upon my childhood home in the San Fernando Valley. In this economic climate, buyers aren’t that interested in huge fixer-uppers. It’s tragic, considering all the affordable ways to brighten your home’s façade.
Landscaping by Sparky
Good luck staging a home for sale with Sparky in the yard, unless you’re tossing in a huge mallet to whack his furry lil’ skull. The tail-lights diminishing into the night, those belong to potential buyers.
Shrinking your expectations
That genuine artifact you brought back from Brazil just might diminish your closing points – if anyone buys your place. Better Homes and Gardens recommends 20 ways to boost curb appeal. But your family photo of Uncle Max with a geisha or the head of that elk you dropped last year must come off the wall.
When less is more
Those cute extras you’re including in the sale – the garden shed, workshop, barn – will only hurt if they’re in considerably worse shape than the rest of the home. It’s like trying to swim the English Channel with an anvil on your back.
There are no guarantees in tough times, but when it comes to staging a home and property, it pays to be a clean freak.