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Help Dad earn big bucks on resale by letting the sun shine in

June, 2010

It would be a wonderful gift to help Dad with the curb appeal of his home, especially if he wants to sell it.

The first thing a buyer sees when visiting a property is the outside, so make a great first impression by highlighting the most appealing features of Dad’s home while eliminating or minimizing those less appealing.

Usually, there are two types of buyers: Those who cannot see a home’s potential, who want the seller to provide it for them and are more willing to pay for it, and those buyers who see everything wrong and look for ways to negotiate the price of a home.

Each home is different, but there are numerous general things to focus on:

Yard clutter. Put away unnecessary garden tools and bags of fertilizer, grandchildren’s toys and bicycles, old tires and automotive parts. You would not want visitors tripping over these items as they walk around their potential new home. This includes animal droppings, so pick up all the poo.

Clean windows, rain gutters, brick and vinyl siding. If your dad’s home or sections of it are painted or stained, repaint or stain at least those areas that are fading or peeling. Remove stains on the surface of the deck and patio and on the roof and driveway. A surface-sealed laneway looks great.

The lawn. Always make sure his lawn looks healthy and is groomed. Consider fertilizing, seeding, removing weeds and watering the lawn to a lush green colour. Don’t forget to trim the grass around the edges of the laneway, around the flower beds, between patio stones and under the deck. You never know where a seed will take root and grow.

Let the sun shine in. Trim tree limbs and hedges that are near or touching the roof. Unobstruct windows to let in more sunlight. To add a contrast of colour, plant flowers around the patio and various areas of his house. Take a drive through the neighbourhood to get some ideas from the neighbours.

Fix it up. Replace or repair absolutely everything that is broken, missing or dysfunctional: a door that jams, a cracked window, a broken light or rain gutter are small things considering the overall price of his home, but these items can give a bad impression to a buyer as to how the rest of the property has been maintained.

Don’t make waves. If Dad owns a pool, consider that pools do not always benefit the sale of a home. People who know and like pools may not care as much, but those who are being introduced to one for the first time are really considering the time and expense of operating it. There is nothing less appealing than a green, slimy, tarp-covered pool.

Make a list for Dad of things that must be done, using this column, inspiration and the uniqueness of his home. Remember to stay within a budget and work with what is available. If you need help, call a real-estate agent or a home stager. The advice you receive could earn Dad thousands of dollars.

Happy Father’s Day and remember to help dear Dad with the curb appeal of his home, now that he is considering selling it.

Daniel Smyth is a real-estate broker with Groupe Sutton-Clodem Inc.



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