When it comes to preparing your house for sale, what is the first thing the buyer sees? You know its the exterior of your home and yard, right? Think of yourself from the buyer’s point of view, sitting in their car in front of your home.

Is your home come across as warm and inviting? Or does it come across as someone help me? I need some TLC (tender loving care).

When it comes to creating the wow factor for your curb appeal, you will need to address five areas. These five areas are as follows: clean it, fix it, paint it, decorate it and edge it.

The Clean It Factor

Cleaning your house is a big factor when transforming a neglected home to one that says look at me. Many homes in humid parts of our country, deal with mold and algae growing on the sides of the houses.  You can either hire a professional to power wash your home, out buildings, sidewalks and driveway or you can do it yourself with a hose, brush and some bleach water.

Another area to consider is your roof. You want to make sure you blow or sweep off the leaves and any pine needles first. Then you want to use a special cleaning solution that is specifically geared towards eating away any algae, moss and/or lichen on your shingles. You may again want to consider hiring a professional to do the climbing and walking on your roof. These companies come in to spray a solution on that will eat away any living organisms and help remove the stains left on your roof.

Another purpose in cleaning the house and out buildings is to prepare it for any painting or seeing any repair needed. When you remove any of the dirt and algae, you will see if there is any wood rot going on. Also, paint does not stick to dirt. This now leads to the next area to create your wow factor and that is the fix it area.

The Fix It Factor

When it comes to fixing the house of any potential repairs before putting it on the market, look for any areas of wood rot. You will want to look for these in the following areas: in your porch railings, columns, window seals and brick moldings, soffits and fascia boards. When it comes to things broken, rusted, wholes, etc. look for these areas to repair: gutters, down spouts, windows, vinyl siding, etc. If you don’t have any decorative trim around your front entry door, this is a good time to consider adding it if you want to create a more wow factor at the entrance. To create additional wow in your house and out buildings, consider painting to give it new life. This leads us to our next area, the paint it factor.

The Paint It Factor

When it comes to the painting factor, make sure you prime all new wood even if you have a paint that states primer built in. Unless you added new wood that has been primed already. I have been married to a professional paint and finish carpenter for many years and a good foundation for finish painting to stick is to prime all new wood or exposed bare wood.

When it comes to painting your home and out buildings, make sure you go with more neutral colors and not trendy colors on the trim or siding. You can get away with trendy colors more with other items like window flower boxes, shutters, front door and garage door. Other areas of trendy colors can be in your yard artwork.

Another thing you want to consider if you live in a humid area where mildew/mold grows on your siding and trim is to add a mildacide to your finish paint. Most mildew likes to grow on oil paint verses latex paint. Some paints have it built inside of them.

Lastly when it comes to painting your home is to use a finish paint with a sheen. They last longer than flat paints. You may also want to consider freshening up your decks with a new coat of stain as well.

If you decide to stain your decks, again remember to power wash them first and let dry for 24-48 hours before staining. This also applies if it has rained because stain will not stick to wood that contains high levels of moisture. You don’t want it peeling or blistering after all the hard work you have done. It’s better to play it safe by letting it dry out first.

Again be careful not to use trendy colors when you are planning on putting your house on the market. Use artwork and flower pots to add pops of color. This leads us to our next area to add color and decorations to the house and yard with different elements to give its wow factor.

The Decorate It Factor

There are many elements you can use to create that wow factor when decorating. Start with flower beds around the house and yard for adding design and color. You want to have flowers/plants that have the color yellow specifically. Buyers tend to recall features of a house or remember a house when there are items of yellow. Especially if they look at a number of homes in a day.

Consider adding decorative flags attached to a column on your porch or a decorative pole in your flower bed or pole lights by your drive way. You also can add flower pots on the sides of your steps leading to your front porch/entry door.

Fixtures are another great way to add wow to your curb appeal. These would be new door knobs on the front door, address numbers on the house, lights on front porch ceiling and along sidewalks and driveways.

Other ways to add wow is to do a mailbox make over, add water gardens, wishing wells and decorative etched stone. Residential stones that have welcome or your name creates a warm invitation. This now leads us to our final area, the edge it factor.

The Edge It Factor         

When it comes to adding the finishing touches to your wow factor of your curb appeal, you want to edge all your flower beds, sidewalks and driveways. Also, keep your trees weed wacked and your bushes trimmed. This will give it a clean look.

If you implement these five factors to create a curb appeal that says wow, you will not only get them through the front door but you will be adding value to your home when putting it on the market for sale. Do you hear it? Cha-Ching, Cha-Ching.