Curb Appeal Is Critical to Prepping Your Home for Sale

front yard photoFirst impressions are everything when it comes to preparing to sell your home. Curb appeal is the initial preview of your home for potential buyers. In today’s real estate market, potential buyers will first view your home on the Internet. If your home matches the criteria they are using in their home search, these buyers will then drive by your home. If the exterior of your home isn’t well-kept or your landscaping isn’t on par with the other homes in the neighborhood, your home showing may turn into a drive-by, with those potential buyers not wanting to bother stepping inside your front door.

Implementing a few steps to update and maintain your home’s exterior is critical to prepping your home for sale. Doing this will invite potential home buyers to come closer to check out all that your home has to offer. The first step is to take an objective look at your front yard’s landscaping. A desert landscape littered with weeds and overgrown trees implies deferred maintenance in all areas of home care and upkeep. Trimming trees, weeding, and pruning shrubs will also allow potential buyers to actually see your home. Planting fresh flowers or desert plants in pots or beds near your walkway or front door is also another quick and inexpensive step to freshen up your home’s exterior and landscape.
Power-washing, hosing down, or simply sweeping your driveway, walkway and front entry way are other inexpensive steps that will pay off with a big impact when showcasing your home’s exterior. While you are at it, be sure that your windows sparkle with a fresh cleaning inside and out, so buyers looking out to the front yard can appreciate and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

If you’re lucky enough to have a front patio area or large entry way, stage this area by placing a chair or two here, to showcase a conversation area to your potential buyers as they are walking into your home. Furthermore, the simplifying rule that applies to the interior of your home also applies to the exterior and landscaping, so be sure to remove any yard or lawn art from your front yard and entry way. Keeping the door clean, and free of decorations is another way to showcase the architecture and beauty of your home without providing unnecessary distractions.
As your realtor, I can give you more specific advice unique to your home and neighborhood, to help you maximize your home’s curb appeal.

Pre-Approval Vs. Pre-Qualification

When financing a mortgage for a home, there are a few mortgage loan terms that you will need to be familiar with:  pre-qualification and pre-approval.  Here’s a quick summary of these two terms:

Glendale Real Esatate photo

Pre-qualification is typically the first step that you will take with a potential lender.  This step is where the lender will gather information from you regarding your income, assets, any debt you may have incurred, payment levels and the amount of down-payment and the sales price of the home.   Pre-qualification is a general overview of the application process, and is also when the lender may research your credit scores.  The lender will also determine what type of loan for which you are able to qualify.  Using all of the above information, the lender will generate an estimated mortgage amount that you will be considered to be “pre-qualified” to assume.  There is no commitment by the lender that this will be the actual loan amount, but instead, is a helpful tool to help you narrow the parameters of your home search.

Pre-approval is a more detailed process, and requires that you provide actual financial documentation of your income such as paystubs, W-2s, tax returns and bank statements.   The lender will use this documentation, along with confirmation of your employment as well as a credit score check, to make a tentative commitment to loan you the money should you decide to purchase a
home.  While this commitment is not binding on your part (you may obtain a loan from a different lender) or a guarantee that you will be approved for the loan (as this is contingent on the title search and the property appraisal among other things), the letter of commitment that you will obtain as a result of the pre-approval process will make you a strong contender as a potential buyer, to both the seller as well as their real-estate agent.  Moreover, the actual application process for the mortgage will be much shorter with a pre-approval firmly in hand.

While this is a quick overview of the differences between the pre-qualification and the pre-approval processes, I hope this has shed some light on these mortgage terms.  Every transaction is different, and while I am unable to give legal, tax or accounting advice, I look forward to helping you navigate your own process with ease and clarity.