Welcome to our series of blogs for prepping your home for sale on a budget. We will walk you through the challenging project of getting your home ready to put on the market; which will not seem as challenging with assistance. We will give you tips and show you how to do it on a budget without breaking the bank, but still have a real impact on the visual appeal of your house.

As real estate agents, one of the most common questions we are asked is how do I get the most for my house without putting money into it? When selling your house, the last thing you want to do is put a lot of money into it. However, if you want to get top dollar for it, it can be a necessary evil. But realize, even a small budget can go a long way.

Curb Appeal

The first place you need to start is the exterior of your home. What is the first thing everyone sees when they pull up? Does your home make a good first impression? If not, what makes someone want to step inside and take a further look? Your yard needs to be inviting. Imagine pulling up to a house with overgrown hedges and bushes, weeds all over the yard, long or brown grass, shutters half falling off, missing roof shingles, chipping paint, or dirty siding. What do you think the inside is going to look like? Curb appeal does not have to break the bank, but will make a huge difference to potential buyers deciding whether they should keep driving or come inside.

Here are a few things you can do on a budget of about $500 to improve your first impression curb appeal and keep buyers interested enough to park and walk through the front door:

· Trim the hedges and bushes

· Keep the trees shaped so they do not block the house from the street

· Mow the lawn regularly, preferably on a diagonal (it is more appealing to the eye)

· Wash the exterior of the windows

· Power wash the exterior of the house (ensure there are no cobwebs and get rid of dirt)

· Buy a new welcome mat for the front door

· Put a fresh coat of paint on the mailbox

· Plant some fresh flowers in planters by the door or along the walk. Marigolds are good – yellow helps sell, as the color makes people happy.

· Make sure your house number is visible. If not, buy a plaque with the numbers and display near the front door or paint the numbers on the curb using a stencil.

· Paint or replace the front door and install new hardware

· Update your light fixture and make sure all exterior lights work and bulbs are operational

· Store garbage and recycling containers neatly on the side of the house or in the garage

A few things will go a long way towards improving your curb appeal. Make your first impression your best impression.