You only get a few minutes to make a first impression, so when selling your home, you have to make those minutes count – and that’s where curb appeal comes in. To lure would-be buyers, you have to make sure you’re not undermining your efforts. So step outside, take a good look at your home and watch out for these curb-appeal killers.
If you do find some of these issues lurking on your property, keep in mind that you don’t have to break the bank to fix them. While it may be a little bit of an investment – and one that can pay off if you can boost the selling price, it’s also important to set a realistic budget and not get too carried away. Getting too deeply into debt can cancel out what you might make back from your home sale. And if you’re looking to get a mortgage for your next home, keep in mind that your amount of debt can affect how much loan you get approved for, as well as your credit score. You can see how much house you can afford using this calculator, and you can see how your debt is affecting your credit scores by checking them for free on Credit.com.
1. Lackluster Landscapes
Carpet-bombing the front yard with red roses sounds lovely, but too much of the same flower can look boring. As Houselogic explains, the yard will look great when the flowers are in bloom, then drab for the rest of the year. The better solution is to mix things up and opt for seasonal color. For instance, planting summer-blooming roses and autumn camellias can help keep your lawn colorful year-round.
2. Dying Shrubs
Refusing to bury the dead can scare away buyers faster than you say compost. As Houselogic notes, spent plants are ideal for a pile, as long as you grind them up first. Otherwise, bag them up and add them to the trash. And remove the dead or dying shrubs, pronto.
3. Unwanted Guests
Deer and rabbits are cute, but their constant nibbling can leave your landscape in disarray. They can also leave branches denuded. If an electric fence is too pricy an option, do as Houselogic suggests and spray critter repellent. After a hard rain, spray it again. No luck scaring away Bambi? Consider deer- and rabbit-resistant plants.
4. Monotonous Mowing
Yes, even a well-mowed lawn can scare away buyers. As AOL explains, mowing grass in the same direction, day in and day out, can “mat down the turf and inhibit growth.” Varying the pattern in which you mow encourages growth and reduces wear. You’ll also avoid missing or mowing over the same spots.
5. Barely-There Lawns
Speaking of mowing, only about one-third of the grass blade should be cut. Short clippings break down easily, and according to AOL, make natural nitrogen return to the soil—a bad thing for plants trying to grow. Cut too much at once and the grass can stress out, leaving it withered, drab-looking and flat.
You can see the rest of 14 Things That Will Kill Your Home’s Curb Appeal here.
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This article originally appeared on Credit.com.