By Becki Trowbridge

When preparing to sell a home some of the basic practices are best to apply; make sure the home is clean & bright, free from clutter and all major aesthetic issues have been repaired. This may mean you need to hire a professional house cleaner, replace light bulbs, accentuate natural lighting and put some of your “stuff” in storage or have a garage sale of unnecessary items before showing the house.

However, if you want to make an even bigger impression on buyers as they view your home, some staging may be in order. Staging your home has both external and internal qualities. Externally, preparation for a home sale is called creating “curb appeal”. Many shoppers will simply do a “drive by” to see if it’s interesting enough to go inside and move to the next level of consideration. Some tips for creating the “I want to see more of this house” presentation include:

1. Make sure your trees, bushes, and lawn are trimmed back so the house can be “framed in” for the viewer. Ideally, bushes in front of the house should not cover the windows or entry of the house and should not touch the siding of the house (an immediate assumption for external wear & tear or other kinds of damage).

2. The lawn or ground cover should be clean cut and provide some color. Perhaps planting some flowers, in season, to add to the appearance of a well-cared for property that will be easy to manage.

3. If the lawn has some brown spots or dead areas, there is a solution (taken from golf courses around the country) and that would be to “paint” the areas needing to be “greened up”. There are non-toxic paints designed for this purpose if you choose to do so.

4. Next, look at your roof and gutters. If there is moss, pine needles or leaves accumulating on the roof, those items should be removed and the roof cleaned off, as well as the gutters cleared out. This will offer a tidier presentation and questions about the roof condition will be minimized.

5. As you look at the exterior of the home, make sure the paint job is fresh and clean. This may simply take a “wash job” of the siding and trim of your house. However, if it’s been a while since it has been painted, some touch up on the trim, gutters, and other fixtures may brighten the view and catch a buyer’s attention.

6. Finally, another suggestion to create a great curb appeal is to remove all children and pet toys and accessories in the yard. The one addition that may be appropriate is a nice clean grill on a deck, enabling the buyers to visualize what they can be enjoying outside on a beautiful evening

When the property is clean and clear on the outside the first impression is positive and inviting. Make sure you walk across the street to view the final appearance to see it as a buyer will, for the first time and make any adjustments that will add value to that curb appeal.Next time we will go inside the home and give some tips and ideas on the interior staging of your home.

Becky Trowbridge works with the Ricketts Group at Keller Williams. She has almost a decade of experience in sales and property management. Since EPM concentrates only on quality property management, we rely on experienced real estate agents. If you have questions about your home call her at 541-729-7152.

Note from the editor: Although this article does not deal with management directly there does come a time for every property to sell and we want our owners to make informed decisions. Empire relies on the expertise of real estate professionals since we have decided long ago to concentrate our efforts on quality management.