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Yard work returns dividends

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Spring has sprung early and that means it’s time to get to work on the yard, because curb appeal is King in residential real estate!

A good first impression means everything to a prospective home buyer who is looking at both the appeal as well as how hard it may be to keep up once they are the owners. A neglected or over grown landscape may give the impression that it’s more work than a novice can handle, thus buyers rule the home out of consideration.

Curb appeal actually starts at the “curb”, taking into consideration pressure washing sidewalks and driveway as well as edging along both. How long has it been since the mail box and post were painted and are the numbers crisp?

Continue your audit by looking forward to the grass, is it healthy and free of weeds? Again, this sets the tone for how well maintained the interior may be if the owner is paying attention to the details of the lawn. Should you over seed to build thickness?

As you approach the home, ask yourself is the landscaping appropriately trimmed and shaped? Keep in mind that if shrubs are significantly overgrown, a major trim may expose unsightly bare spots. If this is a consideration, then you definitely want to trim early so they have time to fill in before you place your home on the market. Another thought may be to simply replace shrubs that have overgrown the space verses trying to trim them back. A good coat of mulch always refreshes a home, so apply this last before placing on the market. Even if you are thinking about selling this fall or next year, now may be the best time to address the overgrown shrubbery so the plants have time to mature.

A clean house is a prettier house, so here again, pressure washing will go a long way to renew a home’s appeal. Gutters often need the most attention, particularly if they have become clogged and overflown their walls. If paint is dislodged during pressure washing, then it may take a fresh coat to get maximum impact.

A final and most important item to review is your front door. This is the last impression a buyer will have of your home before stepping inside. A fresh coat of paint, new hardware and even a new storm door all will give an immediate return on investment. Even during the worst of the last recession, replacing a front door always gave a positive return on investment.

In order to demand top price for a home in today’s market, the details start in the front yard!

The Greater Chattanooga Association of REALTORS is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. The Association is a regional organization with more than 1,700 members and is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors.

GCAR services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. Go to www.GCAR.net for more information.

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