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fast home sale Fort Myers

How To Improve Your Homes Curb Appeal

Selling your home can be one of the hardest things you can do. From picking the realtor to then playing the patience game with viewers and when you eventually get to sell your home, the paperwork required to get you over the finishing line. Of course, the most important thing in any home sale is actually selling your home. The first thing to selling any home is understanding what curb appeal is and how to get it!

What is curb appeal?
Wikipedia defines curb appeal as “the attractiveness of the exterior of a residential or commercial property, as viewed from the street. The term was extensively used in the United States during the housing boom and continues to be used as an indicator of the initial appeal of a property to prospective buyers.”

curb appeal

OK, curb appeal is how attractive your home looks to any potential buyer. But why is this important and how will it affect your home sale?

“Curb appeal is the first thing that any potential buyer will use to make a decision on your property. If it doesn’t look the part, then you will have a horrible situation where you can’t even get people to view, let alone make an offer.” Paul Russo from our Florida office continued with, “there are many different things you can take to make your home stand out and get that all important curb appeal; it’s a case of priorities and taking the road best travelled sometimes.”

5 tips for improving curb appeal

1) Focus on the photos
88% of all home searches in the US start online. If you never considered how important it was to get your property photos right, then now is the time. “Pick the right time of the day for pictures, preferably with good sunlight behind you. Don’t crowd your shot with things that may put buyers off like bikes on the lawn or dirty dishes in the sink!”

curb appeal photo

2) Be a buyer for a day
Imagine you were buying a home and take the time to spend a day looking at properties for sale. Which ones appealed to you and why? “Use this first hand experience to guide you through your own home sale. Drive past your house several times at different points of the day. What works and what doesn’t? That’s what you need to focus on.”

curb appeal buying
3) Prioritise repairs
Home repairs are a given for any seller, especially if you have lived in a property long enough to damage it. “Scuffs on doors, chipped paint and even that floorboard you’ve been meaning to repair are important but are they more important than let’s say, a new roof? Raised flags on your porch? Broken windows? Prioritise your repairs and don’t skimp on a good tradesman. Smaller things are usually accepted by buyers, but the big ticket stuff will have an impact on your home value.”

hammer_curb appeal

4) A bit of landscaping
The big thing about curb appeal is what your house looks like from the road/the curb. That said, what people will take a first, deciding look at is, your garden. “Green fingered sellers attract a lot of potential buyers because the lawn is well kept and the colours of plants and shrubs are appealing. Sometimes, the inside of the home isn’t so. But you don’t need to go overboard. Cut the lawn, mend any fence panels and for added colour, you can pick up bright plants and shrubs cheaply. Show these off in pots or planted in the soil that borders your lawn.”

curb appeal plants

5) Let there be light!

Finally one the best tips for improving curb appeal is, adding light. “Whether that is to your garden, your entrance or your home living spaces, great light gives people a welcoming feel. Outside lights illuminate darker spaces. Internal lights can make living areas more homely; and that’s important for buyers.”


How to protect your home from Zika

Residents of Florida will know by now that there are two major things happening in the news, Zika and Zika. Yes, we can’t escape the fact that Zika is playing a role in our day to day lives, especially in the news cycle that wants to keep reminding us, beware of Zika.

So, as a Florida resident, living in your home, what do you need to know about Zika and what do you need to know when it comes to selling your house fast in a Zika area?

Our in house expert, John Russo, has some tips and advice for those looking to sell their home fast with all the news of Zika in the press. We then take a quick look at what the CDC suggests when it comes to protecting you, your family and your home from the mosquito transmitted disease.

OK, John, over to you, what do you advise…

Treat it like its environmental
Florida has seen tornados, alligators, massive lizards and a plethora of environmental issues over the years; guess what it doesn’t stop a housing market in its tracks. Obviously, the prospect of getting bitten by mosquitos is higher, and therefore the chance of catching Zika is equally higher.

Yes, we’re not dealing with alligators or crocodiles and mosquitoes are harder to spot than a reptile rushing out of the swamp, however the Governor and his team are investing a lot of money and time into tackling the zika virus. Therefore, you need to treat this like an environmental risk and one which could in the short term affect house prices, but in the long term, it will completely depend on the measures taken now. As much as you can’t predict when and where a hurricane will land, think of the Zika virus in this way.

Zika and the environment

Don’t panic
It’s easier to say than do, but the second tip I have is to not panic. As you will see, we’ve found some great information on things to do with regards to protecting yourself against the Zika virus. When it comes to the housing market, reports of “sales dropping by 50%” or “house values 30% lower” are completely a micro overreaction to a situation.

If you are looking to sell your house fast, then Zika outbreaks won’t affect your house price more than what you think it actually will. My advice, don’t panic and don’t be swayed by media reports providing one sided views of a situation.

So, what do we advise to help you around the house and know about the virus. We’ve done a bit of research and here are some tips;

1) Remove standing water around the house
A mosquito can breed in just one teaspoon of water, so you need to think about things around the home that can provide the basis of any standing water. Rinse out any cups you use for your toothbrush, flower pots, bottles and accumulating garbage.

Have a pool? Don’t worry, the chlorine used to treat your pool repels mosquitos.

2) Exercise indoors
Mosquitos are attracted to carbon dioxide and heat, both of which, your body makes in bountiful quantities. So, if you’re looking to get fit and healthy, the CDC advises getting some exercise inside the home rather than breaking a sweat in the outdoors to minimise risk of Zika.


3) Get the right mosquito repellent
As Reader’s Digest advised earlier this year, “The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends products with active ingredients DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin, or IR 3535.”

“DEET is the standard,” Mustapha Debboun, PhD, director of the mosquito control division of Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services in Houston, told NPR. “All the repellents being tested are tested to see if they beat DEET.”