By Roy Sanborn
Another Memorial Day is in the books. We honor and thank all of those that have served our country in such heroic fashion! Memorial Day is also the Indy 500, the Coca Cola 500, hockey and basketball. It is cookouts with friends and family. It's the start of hot dog season, when, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, a whopping 7 billion hot dogs are eaten. Imagine that! It is also considered the start of the summer season and really the start of the summer home-buying season.
Memorial Day also seems to be the start of the serious gardening season for many people. All you have to do is visit Pedal Pushers, Apple Tree Nursery, Cackleberries, Agway, or Lowes to see how busy they are with homeowners filling their trunks, trucks, and trailers with everything from mulch to begonias and pansies to roses. I know, I was there. Homeowners want their properties to look great for the summer. And, home buyers are attracted to homes that look nice. Curb appeal gets buyers in the door. I don't know how many of the people I saw at the garden center were actually selling their home, but I am sure there might have been a few. If you are thinking about selling your property this time of year, here are some tips to dress your house for success and get someone to notice you.
Housekeeping...on the outside is the number one task. Just like on the inside, declutter the landscape of your home by weeding, pulling out the dead plants, and trimming back the overgrown bushes. Home buyers like to actually see the front of the house. Hedges and bushes that have overtaken the front of your home not only hide your house, they also can cause harm to the exterior of the home. Trees with branches overhanging your roof should be trimmed back. If the outside of your property looks like a dying rain forest, why would anyone believe the inside is as nice as you say it is? Make sure you edge your gardens to create a clean definition between your lawn and the garden. If you are a Redneck, you should also remove any of the more unusual items like old snow machines, truck tires, and discarded front fenders from that '56 Ford you once owned. You may not be able to take the garden out of the Redneck, but you certainly can take the Redneck out of the garden.
You don't have to go crazy, but pick up some nice colorful new plants that will make your gardens pop a little. If you don't know anything about plants or which one to buy to put where the staff at the garden center will help you out and tell you the best choices. Not everyone has a green thumb, but putting some new colorful plants in the ground might give you some extra green in your wallet. And, that is the goal.
Freshen your flower beds with new mulch which will help make your plants stand out. Mulching inhibits weeds from growing, which are not only unsightly but also rob moisture from your plants, and it also keeps the ground from drying out. A few cutesy garden ornaments can add whimsy and appeal to the garden but don't overdo it. I would stay away from the Travelocity style garden gnome... that might give a prospective buyer the idea that you've already booked your around-the-world tour and are eager to move. You don't want to give a buyer any unnecessary edge.
If you have a nice deck or patio, this is another area to spruce up and make into a great entertaining space that buyers will love. Go out and get some potted plants, new or freshly painted patio furniture with colorful cushions, and maybe even a new grill to replace that old 55-gallon drum cooker that you have had for the past ten years. These are all things that will make your home look great, and the best part is you take it all with you when you sell the place.
So, that's it. Get busy and make your yard look great. My best advice now is to do all of this on a cool day. Memorial weekend was way too hot and days like those should be reserved for grilling and enjoying the Lakes Region.
As of June 1, there were 999 residential single family homes on the market in the twelve towns covered by this report. The average asking price was $577,633 but the more meaningful median price stood at $275,000. The total inventory is up from the 921 homes on the market as of May 1, but down from the 1,158 homes on the market last June 1. The current inventory level represents a 10.7 month supply of homes on the market.
Please feel free to visit www.lakesregionhome.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Data compiled using the NNEREN MLS system as of 6/1/16. Roy Sanborn is a sales associate at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-677-7012
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