By Mike Baird
I’ve seen a lot of flipping mistakes in my time. New flippers try to save money on renovation and rehab by cutting corners. They’ll leave in subpar flooring, or they won’t do anything about a patchy lawn. If they were fixing up a rental property for new tenants to move in, that might be okay, but if you want to sell a house at a good market price, you really need to put some work into it and get it looking great. That’s why curb appeal and house staging are so important.
When you show your house to potential buyers, you want to really up the “Wow!” factor. A lot of your buyers are going to know that this is an investment property, and that it probably had some big problems before rehab. They’re going to look for wiggle room on the price, and if they don’t fall in love with the house from the minute they see it, they’re going to walk away. If you don’t want your property to go stale on the market, follow these tips to make buyers fall head-over-heels for your homes.
Paint the Trim and Front Door
Even if the whole house doesn’t need a new paint job, you can really spruce up the property’s appearance with a new coat of paint in an attractive color on all of the trim. I also recommend choosing a different color for the front door. Red doors look great with light gray or white houses. A bold, cobalt blue can look really good, too. Don’t go crazy with the color, but don’t be afraid to stand out a little bit.
Put in New Sod and Do Some Landscaping
A lush, green, even lawn is really priceless when it comes to curb appeal. You want your front yard to look immaculate and inviting. You want your buyers to envision how gorgeous it will look all year round and to imagine their kids playing in the yard. You really can’t go wrong investing in healthy grass and a little bit of landscaping.
Shrubs and flowers along the front walk and the face of the house also add warmth and appeal. Talk with your contractor about inexpensive ways to spruce up the yard and make it look really great.
Replace the Mailbox
This one is a little funny, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen flippers completely forget about the mailbox, and it’s a real turn-off for buyers. Why would you completely update the house and make it look amazing but then leave the old mailbox, with its rotted post and its rust and dings?
Even if buyers don’t really care or plan on replacing the mailbox when they move in, they’ll have at least some subconscious question in their minds about the quality of the work you’ve done and what shape the house is “really” in. So do yourself a favor and replace that mailbox. And while you’re at it, you can add some flowers or bushes around it to make it more attractive, too.
Pressure Wash and/or Re-Seal the Driveway
Along the same lines, you don’t want your buyers to drive up and see a stained, cracked driveway. Even more than the mailbox, buyers are going to take a look at a driveway that’s in bad shape and think about whether or not the house is actually in good shape. They’ll also be thinking about what they’ll have to pay to fix the driveway in the near future, and they’ll use that to drive your price down.
When it comes to flipping houses, house staging is essential to getting the price you want, but staging isn’t just about placing furniture, plants, and decorations…it’s about curb appeal, too. Make a great first impression with these secrets, and you’ll sell faster.