By Mike D’Elena, realtor at HomeSmart Elite

First impressions are incredibly important, especially when it comes to selling your house. But more than often sellers only consider preparing the inside of their home and forget the importance of cleaning the outside too.

According to a 2013 survey from the National Association of Realtors, curb appeal is important to 71 percent of homebuyers when choosing their abode.

The idea behind creating curb appeal is to give your house an inviting look that makes the potential buyer want to stop and see the inside of your house. Spending some time focusing on curb appeal can really help you attract more buyers.

If you are looking to sell your house quickly, here are five things to consider with your landscaping.

Planning ahead
Ideally the time to get started cleaning up your yard is about a month before you plan on showing your house. That provides an adequate amount of time to get everything looking great before making your house available for potential buyers to look at.

Freshen the entry
A bright note of contrasting color can bring a home’s front door to life. Clean the front door and give it a couple of coats of paint. Remove everything, including furniture and pots, from the porch, deck or entry and give the entire area a thorough cleaning. Repaint or touch up where needed.

Spruce up outdoor containers
Container plants, especially large shrubbery, add considerable interest to patios and doorways where would-be buyers enter and exit the house. By incorporate pops of color with seasonal landscape can also help add curb appeal.

Clean up water features
Water features can be an attractive feature for potential homebuyers—if properly taken care of. Get rid of any visible algae, remove leaves and clean filters so that the water is crystal clear.

Repair leaks and irrigation issues
Leaks and irrigation system repairs can be expensive, and you don’t want to lay the cost of those repairs on the buyer. Provide information about your irrigation schedule, and as to how the system operates.

Curb appeal is the first thing potential buyers notice. It doesn’t matter how nice your remodeled kitchen looks if you can’t get anyone through the front door. Exterior upgrades are the most valuable home improvements a seller can make. Follow these simple rules to help earn the best return on your home improvements and your dollars.

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