• Andrea Gordon
  • 04/28/23

If you are a home seller, I want you to look around, up and down, your block, and your neighborhood in general.  What are the things about your neighborhood that make it unique? Desirable? 

Now look around your neighborhood with a critical eye-

  • Comfortable? Friendly? Home?  
  • Are there run down houses?
  • Cars on blocks or rusting?
  • Houses in need of paint?
  • How are the yards?
  • Is there a neighborhood nuisance, like a park that is the site of nefarious goings on, or the site of a homeless encampment?
  • Are you close to a hospital?  A Fire Station? A Church? A school?
  • Are there too many cars parked along the road? Is it a busy street?  Is there a stoplight?
  • How close are you to services, restaurants, and shopping of various kinds?  How close are you to public transit? To BART? To freeway access? Do you hear Freeway noise?  

All these questions are things you should ask yourself before putting your house on the market- and honest answers will help you to understand the true value of your house in the eyes of a buyer.

Now take a long look at the exterior of your house. 

  • How is the paint? 
  • How is the yard?
  • How does your driveway look? Do you have a driveway?
  • What is the condition of your garage?  Is it Attached or Detached?
  • What color is your house?  If the paint is newer, have you had it power washed recently? 
  • Are there spider webs or dirt streaks? 
  • How do your gutters look?  Are they filled with leaves?  Rusting? 
  • Do the downspouts freely pass water away from the house?  Are they buried in the ground, or is there tubing coming out from them? 
  • How does the landscaping look?  Fresh and crisp and lovely, or bedraggled?  Do you have sprinklers?
  • How is the roof?  Is there any moss on the roof?  Do any portions of it sag? How is the condition of the surface of the roof?
  • What color is the house next to yours on either side and across the street. 

Recently  I was on a tour with clients on a street where many houses had changed hands within the past few months.  Every single house was some shade of grayed out blue.  It felt a little dreary in the sameness.  There was one house at the end of the block, which was white with black trim, and my goodness, it looked sharp in comparison with that sea of blue.  I am not saying for everyone to suddenly go out and paint their houses white with black trim, but standing out from the crowd can be very useful in a house sale.

All of this is to say, take stock of your surroundings and realize they will have an affect on the perception of the house.  If there is a situation that might affect your value- the neighbors overgrown trees, a dead car in their driveway, a shared fence that has seen better days, the time to address these sorts of things is before the house goes on the market- the buyers today, with interest rates we have, and the fact that the vast majority of them have very specific tastes about their potential homes, means you have to work hard to make your curb appeal as good as possible.  I have actually had the next door neighbor’s house painted as part of a sale if it would increase the value of the house I am selling.  I have nicely asked neighbors to pick up trash, to take down political signs, and to trim trees if it would enhance my seller’s sales. Take stock of the immediate environment and ask yourself what would make this better.  Then after that, ask your realtor.  Ideally, they will know just want to do to make a world of difference in the value of your home.

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