As a teenager my mom was always telling me “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.”  Invariariably my dad’s input would immediately follow hers: “But if the packaging doesn’t look nice no one will check out the inside.”  Both statements ring true – especially when talking about an investment property for sale.

Recently, I spent the day prepping our investment property for sale.  I had one goal – to improve the curb appeal enough that potential buyers would want to see the inside.   I also had one major challenge – my boss – or to state it more accurately; the budget my boss gave me to improve the exterior of this investment house.  Small was an understatement!  But, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Investment Property for Sale:  Weeds are a Deterrent

My first step to improve the exterior of our investment house was to attack the flower beds.  I’ll admit, pulling weeds is back breaking, tedious, and depending on the weed…will draw blood.  Nonetheless, if a potential buyer sees flower beds full of weeds on your investment property for sale, the first thing he’s thinking is WORK.  I spent the better part of 4 hours pulling all sorts of weeds, vines, and brambles out of the flower beds on our investment house.  It gave new meaning to the phrase “blood, sweat, and tears”.  But at the end of those 4 hours the front of the investment house looked much more inviting.  So much so that the neighbor even came over and thanked me for pulling weeds. And I had yet to spend a penny of my precious budget on this investment property for sale.

Investment Property for Sale:  Clean is always Better!

As I unfolded myself from weeding and went inside to get a drink I noticed the spider webs on the front porch ceiling.  I also noticed that all of the windows were a little grimy, there were some old wasp nests up high on the exterior, and little bits of grass from the lawn mowing were stuck to the brick.  If a potential buyer sees an investment house that is dirty on the outside, he’s going to wonder how dirty the inside is.  Quick fix:  a water hose and high power nozzle attachment.  Some people recommend a power wash.  That’s great if you have one, but in a pinch just put the attachment on your garden hose and turn the water on full blast.  Once all the miscellaneous debris was hosed off the investment house and windows it looked far more inviting.  And again, no budget money spent on my investment property for sale.

Investment Property for Sale:  Add Some Color.

As I stood at the curb admiring my work on the investment house, I decided the flower beds looked a little drab.  Yes, they had some bushes.  But there was no color to make them pop.  Now I was ready to spend my meager funds.  I checked out the local nurseries in the area to find out what they had on sale.  Remember, this is an investment property for sale – not my own personal home.  On an investment property for sale, I can sacrifice flower preference for price.  Look at flowers that are fast growers, require very little watering, have a long blooming season and will add color to the landscape of your investment house.  I chose several double knock-out rose bushes and some Phlox for mounding ground cover.  Last but not least, I added mulch to the landscaping of my investment house.  Mulch goes a long way to making your flower beds look well-tended.  But, the really nice looking mulch can get expensive.  Especially if your investment house has large flower beds.  My boss found some mulch for $0.99 per bag.  It worked well as mulch, but it didn’t look all that great.  The solution, put down the thickest layer of mulch using the cheap, ugly stuff.  Then get a few bags of the prettier, but more expensive mulch to lay on the very top, hiding the ugly stuff.  It adds the nice color pop but doesn’t break the budget on your investment property for sale.

Investment Property for Sale:  Remember it Will be Someone’s Home.

My final step to add curb appeal on my investment property for sale was to add a homey piece to the exterior.  I went to the local Dollar General Store and found a nice clean door mat to place on the front porch.  I then purchased an inexpensive pot and added some flowers.   I placed the flower pot on the front porch next to the front door.  My investment house is currently vacant.  So I got an automatic watering ball to place in the potted plant to keep it looking fresh and well watered.  No dead flowers on my investment property for sale. The mailbox at the front of my investment house has a planter on either side of it.  However, the sprinkler system does not reach far enough to water plants planted in the planters.  A quick trip to craft store solved this problem.  I visited the 50% off aisle and found several plastic plants that had a very real look to them.  The key: choose a variety of plant that in real life has a shiny almost waxy finish look to the foliage.  I “planted” the fake plants in the mailbox planters and added a little color mulch around them.  Now even the mailbox on my investment house looks inviting.

When prepping your investment property for sale, don’t forget the curb appeal!

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