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Curb Appeal - by Janene Johnson

Curb appeal is an elusive little devil! While doing our spring cleaning for our office here in downtown Winter Park, I noticed that Im trying hard to make my office look appealing and inviting while still maintaining the fact that it is a serious place of business. Im in the real estate business and its hard for me, I cant imagine what hoops homeowners jump through to get their homes ready to sell. In the Winter Park area, home to the incredible Winter Park Resort, we have slightly less of an issue with curb appeal. The snow during ski season helps greatly, with blankets of pure white snow in front of the home, making it look like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. However, I do have to periodically remind sellers to keep the driveway and walkways shoveled! Summers are different. A majority of our market tends to be second-homes, with only part-time living on the part of the homeowner. This means that full-blown gardens that need weekly attention are not appealing to perspective buyers. If you are thinking of selling your home, take some time to put yourself in the buyers shoes. Start by slowing down as you pull into the driveway and start to notice things that you might miss on your daily entrance. Walk to the front door slowly and take note; are there broken pavers on the walkway, is the light fixture dirty, does the wood trim need a coat of paint? I always tell sellers that they have 30 seconds to make a good impression and that good impression starts as the buyer is driving up to the home. You dont have much control over your neighbors but its worth the hard work to make the entrance into your home clean, warm and inviting. Staging the interior of the home is another subject entirely! In the essence of space, Ill save that discussion for another day. Even in our area, with Grand Lake being a fantastic resort town just on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, and Winter Park area housing wonderful winter and summer activities from skiing to biking and everything in between, its still important to keep the toys put away and access areas free of snow, dirt and clutter.

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