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A Good First Impression: Realtors offer tips for improving your home’s sale appeal

Also, keep the front yard green, mowed and devoid of battered plaster deer, concrete cherubs and urns filled with dead plants.

“Homebuyers will actually look at a place with no curb appeal and refuse to get out of the car and go inside,” he says. “No matter how beautiful the interior of a house is, the curb appeal has to be there and the house has to look cared for and welcoming.”

The National Association of Realtors agrees with him completely. Each year, the group lists the home improvements that give owners the biggest return on investment and largest increases in resale value. The association’s emphasis is often on upgrading the kitchen with opulent details like granite countertops and pricey appliances or transforming a bathroom into a spa-like sanctuary by installing a steam shower or Jacuzzi. But this year, its No. 1 biggest bang for your buck recommendation was astonishingly simple:

“Install a new steel entry door.”

That new door normally costs about $1,230 and offers a whopping 101.8 percent return on investment.

“A nice new front door is part of the curb appeal,” observes Torgerson, who is husband to Mary Beth Torgerson, a managing editor at the Times Free Press. “And it increases energy efficiency and security.”

Realtor Nathan Walldorf, president-elect of the Chattanooga Association of Realtors, has noticed some local homeowners trying to attract buyers by adding Tudor-style beams and wood decorative elements to their homes’ exteriors. But a seller doesn’t need to go to such elaborate lengths to make a home appealing, he says.


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