The housing market is finally coming back. Many folks have been anxiously waiting for a good time to put their house on the market. Some of them may even be previous clients. What can we, as remodelers, do to help them sell fast for the most money?

According to research done by NYU, people make judgment calls within the first seven seconds. That means they may hate your client’s home before they ever see the remodeled kitchen or hardwood flooring. Curb appeal is critical. If your client wants to grab that first impression and make it a good one, they will need to pay attention to their home's exterior.

If your company has a handyman division, consider the art of selling curb appeal. You could initiate a spring clean-up marketing campaign that focuses on helping folks improve their home’s exterior. Ideally they will want to begin sprucing up their yard at least 30 days prior to putting the house on the market. That’s plenty of time to correct the “not so good” stuff without it looking like a recently corrected afterthought.

Here are some simple homeowner tips that will generate a nice return on investment:

  • Set out some large house plants on the porch and/or walkway in attractive containers. These add interest and character right where potential buyers will be entering and exiting the home.
  • Weed and spread fresh mulch in all the flower beds and around the bushes.
  • Neatly trim all bushes, pruning those that especially look out of control.
  • Plant brightly colored annuals.
  • Power-wash the siding, gutters and fascia. A clean house makes all the difference!
  • Put a coat of fresh paint on the front entry and garage door.
  • If anything looks weathered like mailboxes, exterior lighting fixtures or house numbers consider replacing or painting them.

An attractive and well-maintained landscape can noticeably add to the value of your client’s home sale. According to the National Gardening Association, it can be anywhere from 10% to 19%. That will more than pay for the repairs! This isn’t a big payoff for your company—at least not immediately. But remember, the home to which your clients move will probably need some TLC remodeling too. And, increased equity can make that new kitchen a promising possibility.

Kathy Shertzer is office manager at DuKate Fine Remodeling, in Franklin, Indiana.

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