Preparing Your Home For Sale: Outside Edition

Selling a home doesn’t need to be as intimidating as it can sometimes seem. While it can sometimes seem as though the list of things to do when preparing to try and sell a home goes on and on, in reality it is possible to parse this list down to the basic essentials, eliminating unnecessary stresses. Today, we will focus on some simple maintenance tips that will quickly put your home at the top of the pack in terms of curb appeal to prospective buyers.

Very few of us want to do yard work. It can be dirty, it can make us sweaty, and it never seems like it will end. All of us, on the other hand, know the feeling of enjoyment (and possibly envy) that comes from looking at a home with a well-maintained exterior. When selling your home, put yourself in the mindset of a home buyer. When driving throughout your city or town take a look at the homes you pass. Are you more attracted to the ones with scraggly and dying lawns, unkempt bushes, and dirty windows? Probably not. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some simple ways for you to get the outside of your house looking sharp and desirable.

Mowing the Lawn

Again, very few people truly enjoy mowing the lawn. Many people also believe that there’s just no point, that mowing the lawn is the equivalent of placing a top hat on a zombie: it only makes the situation more absurd. This could not be further from the truth. By simply pulling out the mower, gassing it up, and spending an hour or so doing laps across your lawn you will immediately take your home from post-apocalyptic hideout to charming family residence.


If you don’t own a rake, now’s the time to invest $20 (give or take) and purchase an essential tool in the yard maintenance kit. Decaying leaves, twigs, and garbage says many things, but none of them are “home sweet home.” When people see a clean yard, it suggests to them that this property has been cared for, and this is a key factor for attracting anyone who isn’t intending to spend the next year or so on home improvements. Make a few piles, hop in one or two, and pull it to the curb by loading it into a tarp or making several trips with a wheelbarrow.

Don’t Forget the Sidewalk

Yes, you didn’t ask for a sidewalk to run through your front yard, but nevertheless there it is, and it is your responsibility to take care of it. When prepping your home to go on the market, no matter the season, cleaning up the sidewalk is like putting a great big welcoming smile on the property. If the weather is warm, use a hose (or rent a power sprayer) to blast away excess dirt and weeds that spring up in the sidewalk cracks. If it’s winter, be sure to shovel and de-ice.

Okay, so it’s not as much fun as going to the movies, but by taking these three simple steps you will vastly increase your home’s desirability among prospective buyers in the Quad Cities.