autumn house fallen leaves

Top 7 Tips to Sell a House in Autumn

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Selling a house in autumn can be difficult with fewer buyers and less inventory, not to mention fast-approaching holidays, but it’s not impossible. There are some things you can do to improve your chances of a sale.

1. Price It Right

Analyze your local market to determine its condition in the fall. Most times the number of houses for sale dips, and there are fewer buyers, but they are eager to purchase. Rather than overprice, ask for less to encourage more showings.

Be aware that the longer a house sits on the market, the less likely it’ll sell, because buyers will think there’s something wrong with it.

2. Be Prepared to Move

A fast sale goes better with a fast closing. Holidays are coming up quick. If you manage to sell before school starts, you’ll want to move into your new place before it does. So be ready to move out of your old house when the closing papers are signed.

3. Check the HVAC

Your HVAC is one of the most important components of your house. When the weather turns colder in autumn, it needs to be in working order. Get it inspected and perform necessary maintenance so that it keeps your house comfortable when buyers visit.

4. Perform Seasonal Maintenance

Be prepared for the buyer’s home inspector to give your house a thorough once-over. A house in working order sells faster, so you’ll want to perform seasonal maintenance, as necessary. Here are some essential fall house maintenance items:

  • Clean gutters and downspouts
  • Check heating system, fireplace and chimney
  • Prepare plumbing and drainage systems for cold weather
  • Inspect insulation and ventilation

Additional items include inspecting the windows and doors, weatherstripping and trim, and protecting the house against pests.

5. Clean Up the Exterior

Fall foliage falls. You need to maintain your curb appeal by raking leaves, removing sticks, weeding flower beds, and trimming shrubbery. You can also enhance it by using autumn accents, like pumpkins and potted mums.

6. Improve Lighting

Shorter, darker days after the time change make a house look less inviting. Open the blinds, turn on lights inside the house, and consider replacing your outdoor lights. The more warm light you offer, the more appealing your property appears.

7. Keep It Cozy

Autumn tends to get colder, and buyers are easily distracted in a cold house. Keep the thermostat at a comfortable temperature, and consider lighting the fireplace, if you have one. Turn on the lights, and add accents, like pillows and a nice, fall-colored throw to staged rooms.

Sell to an Investor

Fall is a busy season. School starts, and the holidays are around the corner. If you want to sell fast and move into your new house sooner rather than later, consider selling to a real estate investor.

Most investors pay cash for a property “as-is,” and they save you time by forgoing mortgage approval, traditional sale warranties and inspections. They also let you pick the closing date, which can be in a month, 15 days or less. You can enjoy a quick closing and be in your new house in time for autumn (and later winter) happenings.

autumn house Pros and Cons of Selling a House in the Fall

The Pros and Cons of Selling a House in the Fall

Home » House Selling 101


You may have heard spring and summer are the peak times to sell a house. Real estate is busy during those seasons, and the housing market cools down in the fall and winter. Still, this is not a bad time to list your property. Here are the pros and cons of selling a house in autumn.

Advantages

1. Buyers Are Serious

Buyers who missed out in the spring and summer are highly motivated to find a place in the fall. Whatever their reason – corporate relocation or the start of school – they are eager to buy and move in quickly.

2. Less Inventory

A lot of properties sell in the spring and summer, so the number of houses for sale dips in the fall. Your property, then, may stand out amidst the competition.

3. Weather is Nice

Touring houses and moving in the summer is a hot venture, sweaty too. The weather cools down in the fall, making buyers more comfortable during walkthroughs. Moving is also less taxing, and road conditions are still safe before the winter snow and ice.

4. House Shows Well

Autumn is a beautiful season. The changing leaves, seasonal flowers, and any fall décor you add enhance the curb appeal of your house. Staging the front door is easy, and aside from raking and bagging leaves, the natural beauty of your front yard will do the rest.

5. Settle into Your New Home Before the Holidays

Eager buyers plus low inventory can add up to less time your house spends on the market. Assuming a buyer makes a fast offer, and you close right away, you’ll be able to move into a new house before the holiday season.

Disadvantages

1. School is Back in Session

Fall is the school season, and moving your kids between school districts is hard enough without it being during school. Showings are also difficult if your children are home schooled.

2. Fewer Buyers

The majority of buyers found their new home in the spring or summertime, so there are not many left shopping the market. Getting their attention may be difficult, and you’ll have to compromise on some things, like the next point. 

3. Lower Your Listing Price

As eager as buyers are to purchase, they know sellers are just as eager to offload their properties. So they look for lower listing prices or negotiate with sellers to pay less.

4. Time is Brief

Besides the start of school, there are the fast-approaching holidays, starting in October with Halloween. Selling a house and moving during the holidays is a nightmare, so you want to sell in the early fall months.

5. Curb Appeal (Can) Diminish

But wait: did I not say fall enhances your curb appeal? I did. To clarify though: this condition depends on where you live. In some parts of the country, the weather shifts rapidly, and foliage loses all its leaves and snow falls early.

Sell to an Investor

If you want to sell fast, before school or the holidays start, consider selling to a real estate investor. Most investors make a cash offer for a property “as-is,” no repairs or renovations necessary.

Investors do not require mortgage approval, or traditional sale warranties and inspections. They pay all closing costs and additional sale fees, actually saving you money. And they let you choose the closing date, which can be in a month, 15 days or less, giving you time to pack and move out.

room with water How to Sell a House with Flood or Water Damage

How to Sell a House with Flood or Water Damage

Home » House Selling 101


Hurricanes, flash floods, or burst pipes after a freeze – you never know when water damage will occur. It frustrates the majority of homeowners and leaves them wondering, “What now?”

Selling a house with water damage is intimidating but not impossible. You have options, depending on your budget and timeline to sell.

Here are the essential steps to sell a house with flood or water damage.

Step 1: Call Your Insurance

Water damage claims put home insurance policies to use more than any other claim. Most policies cover overflow, accidental discharge, or sewer and water backup, but not flooding.

The damage has to be accidental; you could not have predicted it. Any water damage as the result of negligence or a lack in maintenance is NOT covered.

The insurance company will send an adjuster to assess damages and estimate costs to repair. You should document the loss of personal belongings and damage to your property, before or while the adjuster is there. Take plenty of photos and guestimate the value of your loss.

Collecting insurance can take several days or weeks. There is no guarantee the insurance will cover the full cost to restore your house.

If you decide to sell the property “as-is”, filing a claim may not be necessary. I recommend you discuss options with your insurance agent.

Step 2: Turn Off Utilities

No doubt you shut off the main water supply valve to stop water flow. But you also need to turn off the power because water and electricity do not mix. Same with your gas lines.

By turning off the utilities, you prevent additional damage and put yourself and professionals out of harm’s way.

Step 3: Start Water Damage Cleanup

Pump out standing water and dry the affected areas. Gather those belongings the water missed and throw out anything that is ruined. You want to do this fast because mold sets in after 24 hours.

Open windows to let in fresh air, and if a professional says it’s safe to restore power, use floor fans and dehumidifiers.

Depending on the extent of damage, and if mold is present, you might consider hiring professional water damage and restoration services. Make sure the company you hire is licensed and insured.

Step 4: Start Restoring the House

Repairs could take several months, depending on the amount of damage. Flooring and sometimes walls need to be replaced. Electrical wiring and corroded parts must be switched out. Bad plumbing needs to be changed and the spaces around them refinished.

Water and mold remediation should be done by licensed professionals. It is not the type of work you do alone, not without risks to your health or the house, or without significant loss of time.

Step 5: Disclose the Truth to Buyers

Even if damages are remediated, you must disclose water damage and mold to buyers. If you never corrected the problem, legal remedies can be pursued against you if, after closing, the buyer discovers the truth.

Disclosure requirements vary between states. Research these and maybe ask a real estate agent to explain them.

Step 6: Alternatively, Sell “As-Is” at a Lower Price or Offer Credit

If you cannot afford repairs, and want to roll the dice on the market, you have two options. You can either lower your asking price or credit the buyer to cover repairs.

The issue here is lenders have strict loan requirements, and buyers cannot secure funding to purchase a property with water damage.

Step 7: Alternatively, Sell “As-Is” to a Cash Buyer

Your best option, if you want to sell fast and without repairs, is to sell to a real estate investor. Investors pay cash for properties in any condition. It can have water damage, mold, and be full of soaked furniture and belongings.

Investors do not need an appraisal or inspection, and they skip traditional sale warranties. All closing costs and additional sale fees are covered by the investor, saving you money. All you have to do is choose the closing date.

You can close in a few months, 15 days or less, giving you plenty of time to pack up anything left untouched by the water. You enjoy a quick closing on a washed up problem property for a sure deal without getting all wet.

burned interior Selling a House with Fire Damage

Selling a Property with Fire Damage

Home » House Selling 101


If you experience a house fire, the loss is stifling. Not only are your personal belongings gone up in smoke, but you lose thousands of dollars in damages to your property. Most times the insurance money is not even enough to cover repairs.

So what do you do? Here is what you need to know if you decide to sell a property with fire damage.

1. Contact Your Insurance

The first thing you need to do is call your insurance and report the fire. You’ll start a claim and provide a copy of the fire report to your insurance agent. They’ll send out an adjuster to take pictures and assess the damage and needed repairs.

Insurance can take a few days or a few weeks. You ONLY need to deal with insurance if you plan to make repairs. If you decide to sell the property “as-is”, filing an insurance claim is not necessary. I recommend you talk it over with your insurance agent though to understand your options.

2. Contact Utilities

While the property is damaged, it is dangerous to continue running electricity, water, or gas. Contact your utility providers to have these shut off till the property is restored. Otherwise, you risk additional damages.

3. Recover Your Possessions

Once a fire department official gives you permission to reenter the premises, retrieve anything of value the fire did not destroy. Also take pictures and document the damages. When it comes time to sell, you’ll have to disclose to buyers this incident, even if it’s remediated. Keep a copy of the fire report for your records too.

4. Get an Assessment from a Fire Restoration Contractor

This step may be optional, depending on how you feel about the insurance adjuster’s report. It never hurts to get a second opinion. A fire restoration contractor will assess the damage and estimate repair costs.

5. Start the Cleanup Process

If you hire a contractor for repairs, their team will likely do the cleanup for you. This is preferred because exposure to soot can cause health issues. Moreover, you need the proper clothing and equipment to remove contaminated materials and debris.

There may also be water damage and mold from the water used to fight the fire.

Be sure to open the windows to vent smoke and charred odors from the house, but also to ventilate it so it dries out.

6. Make Repairs

Repairs can take several months, depending on the extent of damage. The cost of remediation after a small fire can fall between $3,000 to $5,000. Significant damage though can run up to tens of thousands of dollars.

7. Alternatively, You Can Sell “As-Is” to a Cash Buyer

Chances are you will not find a traditional buyer who can or will purchase a property with fire damage. Even if a buyer were interested, a mortgage lender will not give them a loan unless the house is in good condition.

The good news is a real estate investor will pay cash for a house “as-is”, be it damaged and full of charred belongings. You can skip the formalities of a traditional sale, like warranties, an appraisal and inspection. Also, the inspector pays all closing costs and associated sale fees.

You can sell in 15 days or less, or in several months: the investor lets you choose the closing date! You enjoy a quick closing, taking the heat off owning a problem property, and get cash in hand without getting burned.

mold water damage 8 Steps to Sell a House with Mold

8 Steps to Sell a House with Mold

Home » House Selling 101


Mold is nothing to sneeze at. It’s a common problem, and most owners are unaware of it. It can hide inside walls, under floors, or even in the HVAC system. But if you know it’s there, if it’s in plain sight for every walkthrough, what do you do?

Is selling a house with mold even legal? Yes, but lying about the presence of it is not. You must disclose all issues with a property.

Most buyers walk away from a house with mold because it compromises the appearance and structural integrity of the property. Some species are also harmful to your health.

To avoid a price hit or failed listing, here are eight steps to sell a house with mold.

1. Get a Professional Inspection

Hire yourself a professional, before listing, to discover hidden mold, what type it is, and the conditions promoting its growth. This way, there are no surprises when the buyer’s inspector comes through, because you’ll have been forthcoming about these issues.

2. DIY Mold Cleanup

It is tempting to clean up the mold yourself to save on budget. DIY mold cleanup typically involves a bleach solution and a set of small hand tools. You want to be careful not to damage surfaces where the mold colonizes. Less harmful solutions include vinegar, baking soda, and tea tree oil.

If the affected area is greater than 10 square feet and goes below the surface, you’ll want to hire a professional remediation service.

3. Remediation

Remediation involves the removal of mold, but also remedying the conditions that promote growth. EPA guidelines again suggest that you hire professional services if the mold:

  • Covers more than 10 square feet;
  • Is in your HVAC system; and/or
  • Goes beyond your ability to remove it safely.

Removal requires proper clothing and equipment. Also, the wrong cleaners will promote the spread of mold rather than kill it.

The cost for professional remediation depends on three things:

  • The type of mold;
  • The degree of spreading; and
  • Your geographic location.

Make sure whichever company you look at has the proper certifications.

4. Always Disclose Mold Issues

Whether the issue is remedied or not, it must be disclosed to buyers, using the proper disclosure forms. If remediated, buyers can then take the steps to prevent the mold from coming back.

5. Document Cases and Steps to Remediate

Just like you would if there was fire or flood damage, it is a good idea to document mold cases. Proper documentation includes inspector reports, photos, receipts from remediation services, or DIY steps written out to show how you treated the area.

Each state has its own disclosure rules, and you can check these with a real estate agent.

6. Prevent Further Growth

After removal, keeping the house dry and well-ventilated is an absolute must. Open windows and run fans and even dehumidifiers, if necessary.

7. Alternatively, You Can Lower the Price or Offer Credit

If you would rather NOT go through the hassle of remediation, and the type of mold is non-threatening, there are other options. You can either lower your asking price or credit the buyer for the cost to remedy the issue.

8. Sell “AS-IS” for Cash

If you want to forgo repairs, traditional sale warranties and inspections, you can sell the house “as-is” to a cash buyer. Real estate investors are eager to buy problem properties, so they can fix and flip them. Investors pay the market value, minus repairs, and also cover 100% of closing costs and additional sale fees. You enjoy a quick closing, on a date of your choice, and walk away from a potential hazard, with cash in hand.

electric panel ways to sell a house with code violations

3 Ways to Sell a House with Code Violations

Home » House Selling 101


Code violations often occur when a property is neglected or suffers damage from a disaster. Building codes protect the general welfare and safety of occupants. Failure to maintain a property leads to citations and costly fines.

A house that is not up to code is NOT impossible to sell. The big concern is if a buyer can obtain financing and insurance. Mortgage lenders often require issues to be resolved by the seller prior to closing. But even if a buyer closes on the house “as-is,” house insurance will be pricier.

Here are three options for selling a house with code violations.

Option 1: Make Repairs Before Listing

If you want the best possible price for your property, your best option might be to make repairs. It all depends on the scope of the problem. Simple violations are often inexpensive and do not take long to fix. Larger problems though, like plumbing or foundation, take more time and money. If neither your savings nor your timeline allow for repairs, you may want to look into other options.

You must also take into consideration the market condition. If buyers have property options, they can demand repairs or walk away from a sale.

Option 2: Lower the Price or Offer Credit

If you cannot afford to make repairs, but still want to list, you must disclose all code violations to buyers. You can offer them credit at closing or reduce your asking price. The difference will help the buyer cover repair costs.

Whether you can actually make a sale depends on the sort of violations. If they threaten safety and health, chances are a traditional buyer will not make an offer.

An inspection is required by most loan types. If you are not forthcoming with all issues, and a home inspector uncovers the truth, the buyer will walk away. However, if the inspector misses something, the house closes, and then later it’s discovered, legal action can be taken against you.

Option 3: Sell “As-Is” to a Cash Buyer

If your priority is to sell fast, without repairs, selling “as-is” to a cash buyer is your best option. It is difficult to find a traditional buyer who will pay cash for a problem property. Only real estate investors and house flippers find difficult houses attractive and will throw out offers to purchase.

At SolidOffers, we work with investor buyers who pay cash for properties in any condition. Most pay 70% of the market value AFTER repair value. They also pay 100% of closing costs and do not require traditional sale warranties or inspections. Even better: they let you pick the closing date, in several months, 15 days or less.

If you have questions about selling to an investor, we have the answers.

houses and money sell to real estate investor

Most Common Questions When Selling A House to An Investor

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If you are selling your house or another property, we have a question for you: Have you considered selling to a real estate investor?

No doubt, you have heard rumors about investors – the most common being they offer less money. We want to put your mind at ease by answering the most frequently asked questions about investors by sellers.

1. Why should I sell to an investor?

An investor is your best option if you want to sell fast and without making costly repairs. Most investors offer cash for a property “AS-IS.” They also let you pick the closing date, whether it’s in several months or a few days, giving you time to move out.

Investors do not require mortgage approval, an appraisal, or a house inspection. You avoid all the obstacles of a typical home sale. Owners who sell to an investor find themselves in one of the following situations:

  • Bad tenants
  • Bankruptcy
  • Code violations
  • Divorce
  • Downsizing
  • Financial hardship
  • Inherited property
  • Outdated (needs renovations)
  • Pre-foreclosure
  • Probate
  • Rundown (needs maintenance/repairs)
  • Tax defaults
  • Upgrading (make room for family)
  • Work relocation

2. I hear investors make low ball offers. Is this true?

It depends on a few things: (1) the condition of the property, (2) its real market value (sorry, but Zillow is often wrong), (3) when you need to sell, and (4) the type of investor.

There are two types of investors: house flippers and rental property owners. Flippers usually pay 70% of the property’s value AFTER repair value. Their offer estimates how much they can sell it for after flipping minus repairs. Flippers, then, are looking for distressed properties that need TLC.

Rental Property Investors, on the other hand, prefer properties that require minor or no repairs. They want a deal that gives them a monthly income of 1% of the purchase price. Their offer is based on how much they can rent it out for, minus repairs. If your property is in top shape and in a high-rent area, you may get its market value.

3. How does an investor make their offer?

We have simplified the process! You can click below to request your free offer today. All you have to do is provide some details about your property.

Our investors may also conduct their own research on the property, where it’s located, and compare it to similar properties for sale in the area.

4. Can I sell virtually?

Yes, if you prefer a virtual sale, many of our investors are capable of doing such. They may ask you to do a video tour or send pictures of the property so that they can assess its condition and value. All documents will be exchanged and signed electronically, and your cash offer wired to your preferred account.

5. What fees or commissions can I expect?

Zero! Unlike when you sell with a real estate agent, who expects you to pay a 3% to 6% commission, selling to an investor means avoiding fees and closing costs.

6. Do I need a real estate agent?

No, you do not need a real estate agent if you are selling to an investor. In fact, you are recommended not to so you avoid paying their commission fees. The investor can handle all the paperwork and necessary details of the transaction. All you have to concern yourself with is accepting their cash offer, picking a closing date, and signing the purchase agreement.

7. How soon do I get my cash?

You get your cash at closing.

8. Does the property need to be cleaned out?

No. Take what you want with you and leave the rest. Just tell the investor you are leaving belongings behind prior to closing.

I Have More Questions

You do? Wonderful! The more you know about investors and SolidOffers, the better you can make a decision about how to sell your house. Check our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.

couple getting handed the keys to a house or inherited property

How to Sell an Inherited Property

Home » House Selling 101


Losing a relative is hard enough, but there are many headaches when settling an estate. The biggest of these is deciding what to do with an inherited property. You can move into it, rent it out, or sell it. If you choose to sell, these steps can help you avoid pitfalls and other surprises.

Step 1: Get Through Probate

Probate is the official proving of a Will to verify it’s genuine. During probate, the estate is administered, and beneficiaries are named. If you are the sole inheritor of the property, you can sell it while in probate. You may want to discuss your options with your probate attorney first.

Step 2: Sort Through the Deceased’s Financing

Sadly, when you inherit a property, you inherit its debt as well. Run a title search to discover if the property still has a mortgage, owes taxes, has liens or bills. All these need to be satisfied, some before selling and others with proceeds from the sale.

Step 3: Hire a Real Estate Agent (Optional)

There is a lot to do when someone passes away. If you don’t have the time or ability to sell a property FSBO, you might hire an agent. An agent can list and market the property, schedule appointments, and handle buyer negotiations on your behalf. In return, you pay them 3% to 6% of the sale price.

The agent must reside in the same city as the property. This way, they can access the local MLS and are licensed to operate in that market.

Step 4: Clean Out Personal Belongings

It is an emotional challenge to sort through a loved one’s belongings. It takes time and often involves other family members. Set aside cherished mementos, then organize the remainder of stuff into piles – what to keep, what to sell, and what to toss.

By removing clutter and depersonalizing living spaces, you improve buyer impressions during a walkthrough. Buyers want to envision themselves living in the house but cannot do so with another owner’s belongings in sight.

Step 5: Perform Maintenance and Clean Often

Consider hiring a professional home inspector to identify issues with the property. Decide with your agent which problems cannot be overlooked and make repairs.

For as long as the property is on the market, it is good to perform monthly maintenance and cleaning. This keeps the property functional and appealing to visiting buyers.

Step 6: Review Insurance Policy

A vacant property is more susceptible to vandalism and break-ins. For this reason, the recommendation is for the beneficiary of the property to get a vacant home insurance policy. The policy stays in place till the property sells and covers most incidents.

Step 7: Set the Price

After repairs and cleaning, schedule an appraiser to value the property. They will give you a fair, more accurate idea of how much the property is worth than an online search.

Skip the Stress, Sell to an Investor

The loss of a relative is not easy. There is enough emotional stress without adding the sale of an inherited property. For this reason, you might consider selling it to an investor.

Most investors offer cash for properties “AS-IS”. You can forgo repairs, maintenance and cleaning, and even leave behind those belongings with less sentimental value. The investor will close on a date that is most convenient for you, giving you time to adjust and make arrangements.

gavel and block at probate court

How to Sell a House in Probate?

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Are you going to inherit a property you cannot afford to keep? Is it in probate? Probate is a legal process by which the estate’s debts are settled. It also ensures all beneficiaries receive what is promised to them in the will.

You can reject your claim by signing a disclaimer of interest, but a property is not something you just set aside. It has value, and you can sell it, even in probate. There are strict sale procedures outlined by the probate court and real estate law in your area. You may want to check with these first, but here are the basic steps to sell a house in probate.

Step 1: Hire a Probate Attorney

A probate attorney advises you and helps prepare legal documents. They can represent you in probate court, sparing you the stress, and handle important matters involving title, insurance, and tax returns.

If you hope to sell, and the house is in good shape, a real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of probate can also help. They can evaluate the condition of the property and assess what needs to be done to make it sellable. They also recruit appraisers and inspectors and navigate buyer negotiations on your behalf.

Steps 2 and 3: Appraise Property, and File a Petition with Probate Court

To sell a property in probate, you must file a petition with the probate court. With your petition, you must also provide an appraisal that estimates the current value of the property. It is only with the court’s approval can you list the house on the market or auction it off.

Step 4: List for Sale

If you decide on an open market sale, offer buyers disclosure. You must disclose the house is in probate, all material issues, and that the purchase agreement is dependent on approval from the court. Waiting for court approval can add a month or more to the sale timeline; so will repairs and necessary upgrades.

If a buyer makes an offer, collect a 10% deposit from them.

Steps 5 and 6: Petition Court for a Hearing, and Advertise the Sale

Petition the court to confirm the sale. The court (or you) publicizes the date in local news to give others a chance to bid on the property. This is to get the best price for the estate, which helps if there are debts to pay.

Should someone outbid your prior prospective buyer, you will refund them their 10% deposit. The winner will present a cashier’s check for a deposit to the court. If the court accepts a buyer’s bid, their deposit applies to the purchase price.

Step 7: Close on the Sale

Only the executor or the court-appointed representative can sign real estate documents. This is on behalf of the deceased. Check the legal description of the property before the deed is recorded with the county.

Make sure the buyer’s financing is sufficient. The full amount goes into the estate fund, and once the debts are paid, the remainder of the funds is divided among the beneficiaries.

Step 8: Report Sale to IRS

You must pay capital gains taxes from the sale of an inherited property. The IRS taxes the difference between the fair market value and the price at sale.

For example, if the house is valued at $200,000, but you sell it for $250,000, you pay capital gains taxes on the $50,000.

There are ways around paying taxes, and you can ask your probate attorney for solutions.

Need to Sell Fast? Skip the Hassle

You can forgo some of these steps by selling the inherited property to an investor. Our investors have knowledge and experience buying real estate in probate. They will buy the house “as-is,” whether it is degraded, vacant, or mid-renovation, for cash.

They also pay all closing costs and fees associated with the sale. You choose the closing date, which can be as soon as you have the court’s approval of the investor’s offer.

red door how to improve curb appeal before selling a house

How to Improve Curb Appeal Before Selling a House

Home » House Selling 101


Curb appeal makes the first impression as a buyer pulls up to your house. A beautiful outside accomplishes four things:

  • It sets the mood;
  • Invites people to see the inside of the house;
  • Increases home value; and
  • Makes it easier to sell.

Here are seven ways you can improve curb appeal before selling your house.

1. Upgrade Your Mailbox

If your mailbox is on the road, it loses appeal after so many years of direct sunlight, bad weather, and slow degradation. You can replace your mailbox for as little as $20. Just be mindful of city and community regulations when you put in a new mailbox.

2. Paint the Front Door

Painting your front door can add brightness and a pop of personality. A gallon of paint starts at $30. Choose a bold color that makes your house stand out and compliments the rest of the house colors.

3. Dress Up the Front Porch

The front stoop or porch connects your interior to the exterior and provides an additional living space. For this reason, you want to create a welcoming, functional entryway. Keep things symmetrical by placing identical lanterns or potted plants on both sides of the front steps. Install a porch swing or add outdoor furniture, which you can find cheap at antique or second-hand stores. Be sure to put out the “Welcome” mat too.

4. Replace Lighting

Lights make an entryway safe and appealing. When choosing light fixtures, make sure they match the style of your house and provide adequate brightness. You can also add accent lighting to trees or a walking path to increase curb appeal at night.

5. Landscape

Your front yard creates the bulk of curb appeal. Depending on the season you’re in, you may do more or less work. Springtime is often the best time to do serious landscaping, including pruning the bushes, weeding the beds, laying fresh mulch, and mowing the grass. Spring is also the best time to plant flowers to add some color to an otherwise green yard.

6. Pressure-wash

Power-wash the house siding, walkways, and driveway to remove dirt, grime, and mold. You will be delighted, maybe even surprised, to see the actual color of these surfaces once the stains are gone. Be mindful of caulking and the roof, though, since pressure-washing can cause damage.

7. Perform Maintenance

The outside of your house takes a beating. Storms and age make it deteriorate. Be sure to:

  • Replace broken fencing, railings, and cracked siding;
  • Stain the porch, clean windows, window screens, and gutters;
  • Inspect the roof too, and make repairs.

Instead of All This Work, Sell As-Is to an Investor

If you do not have the time to spruce, landscape, or make repairs, consider selling to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on a house as-is. They do not mind if the front yard is overgrown or brown and dying. You can enjoy a quick closing and focus your time and energy on the curb appeal of your next house.