If you're selling a fixer for a rock-bottom price, investors love ugly houses. However, if you want to get top-dollar for your home, you must make home shoppers get out of their car and see what's inside.

Every home seller wants two things: a quick sale at the highest possible price. Neither of those desires is unreasonable, but in order to achieve those goals, you'll need to do a few things to make you home more saleable and different from your competition--all the other homes for sale in your neighborhood and price range.

Curb Appeal

Inspect the outside of your home, since that's what prospective buyers will see first. If you've ever bought a home, you know that you passed up potential homes simply because they looked shabby and unkempt from the street. It's just a quirk of human nature that makes a person think that if a home looks bad from the street, it will be just as bad on the inside--so don't let your home make a negative impression on the outside.

Manage outsized bushes. If you have the typical neighborhood house, can you see all of your windows from the street? Trim any bushes that have grown too tall and cover your windows. Houses with large bushes on one side without balance on the other side feel lopsided.

Keep the lawn and landscaping as well-manicured as possible. Keep perennials looking good, and if possible, plant some colorful annual flowers to dress up the appearance of your home. Yellow flowers attract the eye and work well in pots near the entry. White flowers add pizzazz and make other colors pop. Try to find flowers in colors that bring out your home's exterior colors. For instance, if you have green siding, the complimentary color, red, will .appeal to home shoppers.

Consider painting. Make sure your front door creates a warm, inviting feeling. If it needs a coat of paint, do it. Paint is cheap, and the rewards will be worth the effort. Examine your siding and trim. Many homes sell right away after a fresh coat of paint.

You don't have to spend a huge amount of money to make your house appealing to potential buyers. However, as the old saying goes: you only get one opportunity to make a good first impression. So walk around your house and try to look at it as if it's the first time you've ever seen it. What things do you see that would make a less-than-favorable impression on YOU if you were looking at them for the first time? Those are the things you want to address--long before the first potential buyers pull up in front of your home.

Copyright © 2006 Jeanette J. Fisher