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Does your home have curb appeal?

I cannot tell you how many times sellers focus on the inside of the home while neglecting the outside. Do you know how often buyers don’t even want to walk inside because of that? It is estimated that 90 percent of buyers start their search on the internet, and after seeing photos of the outside of the home, they do not want to see it in person.

A seller should first walk outside, stand in front of their home, and pretend it is not their home while asking themselves the following questions:

* What would you not like about it?

* Are the blinds open, allowing potential buyers to view a mess on the inside taking away the desire to see more?

* Does the concrete need a power washing to remove oil stains from the driveway?

* Is the yard filled with rocks or weeds?

* Do the railings or wood trim need to be painted?

* How do the mailbox and house numbers look?

A manicured outside will attract buyers.

Many homeowners tend to neglect their front porches or backyard decks. It is best to fix loose boards and broken or missing railings. While you’re at it, check the fence (if you have one).

Minor repairs that can easily be made at a minimal cost can deter a potential buyer if left unattended. The potential buyer will come away wondering, “If the seller can’t even take care of these minor details, what major details have been neglected?”

A potential buyer might not want to see the home if children’s bikes are left out, garbage cans are in the driveway, the lawn needs mowing or the bushes need trimming.

Bikes and garbage cans should be neatly tucked away in a garage or shed when not in use. And a little landscaping can work wonders.

Consider planting flowers in the front or back of the home as well as putting planters around the patio or deck during the warmer months. Outdoor patio furniture should be cleaned and painted or stained, and adding cushions to your furniture gives it a homey look.

Not many people want to be outside during the cooler months, but this is not an excuse to neglect the outside! When the leaves start to fall, do not hesitate to put your summer things neatly in storage. And when the snows come, walkways should be shoveled and outdoor lighting should be brushed off.

Curb appeal is easy to achieve, and can pay huge dividends. A well-maintained outside will help sell your home. Remember, little things can make a BIG difference!

About Giuseppe Zerillo

Giuseppe Zerillo is the managing broker and owner of Zerillo Realty Inc. He is active on many boards, serving as sergeant-at-arms for the village of Harwood Heights and corporate secretary for Casa Italia. In 2011, he received the IANU Foundation's 2011 David Award for outstanding promise in the field of real estate, and in 2012 he was honored by the Illinois State Crime Commission for his community outreach. Constantly seeking opportunities to give back, he donates to several charities and raises money for children with disabilities.

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