When it’s time to sell, you’ll want to make your home as attractive as possible. Sparkling clean? Check. All appliances and systems working? Check. Clutter tamed? Check. Staged (if your Realtor® advises it)? Check. That takes care of the inside, but what about the outside? Those critical first seconds when a prospective buyer sees the exterior of you home, whether online or in person, can make the difference between an interested buyer and a pass. To increase buyer interest, you need to bump up your curb appeal. Here are ideas for fast ways to add curb appeal that don’t take a lot of time or money.
First Impressions. Realtors know that if buyers don’t like the look of a home in a photo or on a driving tour, they won’t want to look inside. Even in this red-hot market, buyers will be reluctant to view a home that doesn’t meet their initial expectations. It may be a cliché, but you only have one chance to make a first impression. Make it a good one.
The Basics. Let’s start with the minimum. Think clean, think tidy, think well maintained. Your home should tell buyers at first glance that you have cared for it and it’s in good condition. Start by standing outside, across the street or on the sidewalk. Pretend you’re a buyer and you’ve never seen the home before. What do you see? Unless your home was just featured as an “after” on an HGTV remodeling show, you’ll have work to do. Mow the lawn, trim overgrown shrubs, sweep paths and the driveway. Better yet, wash the sidewalk, paths and driveway. When was the last time you cleaned the windows? Do them yourself, or pay for professional cleaners. If the house exterior is dirty, you can try a power washer, but be careful to avoid areas you could damage, like windows or doors. Don’t forget to declutter. Put the bikes and toys away, get rid of any broken pots you’ve been saving “just in case,” and coil the hose neatly or hide it in a hose pot or storage box.
Dig Deeper. Dead flowers and sickly bushes are not appealing. Be ruthless. Rip them out and plant something new and colorful. Yes, buyers will see that you have done some yard renewal, but that’s a positive. You’ve done the work so they won’t have to! No need to go overboard, but a few well-placed shrubs or a new tree will be attractive without breaking the bank. Be sure to weed and mulch your flowerbeds, too. If the lawn looks patchy, consult your garden center about ways to re-seed.
A Lick Of Paint. Paint is an inexpensive way to give your home a fresh face. Start with the front door and entryway trim. Then consider other accent areas, like windows and trim, or shutters. When you are thinking of colors, look at your home’s style, main body color, and current color trends. For inspiration, visit the ever-popular Houzz website. Remember, if you live in a planned development, check with your homeowners’ association (HOA) for any color restrictions.
Little Things Mean A Lot. A few thoughtful touches can make a tired exterior look appealing. When was the last time you replaced your mailbox? What about your house numbers? Your doormat? Think about making your entry more welcoming with a patio chair (add a bright cushion) and a container or hanging basket of flowers. Check your lighting, too. You don’t have to spend a fortune on exterior light fixtures and they can provide a quick update to your entry.
Now that your home is ready for its close up, don’t skimp on professional photos. Your internet listing is the showcase for that impressively renewed exterior, so be sure the photos are top notch. Happy selling!
Executive Vice President | National Production