Curb appeal is your home’s first impression. The way your neighbors and potential buyers view your home from the outside sets the expectation for the kind of home to be found on the inside. If the front door is a faded, the flower bed is full of weeds, and the light fixture is dated, buyers will believe that the interior of the home reflects those same features.
The good news is that curb appeal is likely the easiest thing you can do to spruce up your home! With just a few minor changes, you can transform your exterior into the inviting, attractive first impression you want for buyers. Check out the five categories below and see which of these could make a difference in your home.
The first step in creating curb appeal is to make sure your home’s exterior is neat and clean. It’s easy to overlook simple things with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but if you are trying to sell your home it’s critical that you pay attention to the details. Look around your home and find any areas of mold or mildew or even just general dirt, and make a plan to clean it up. For most cleanup, you can simply use a soft-bristled brush and soapy water. For tougher mildew stains, you may need to purchase a cleaning solution at your local home improvement store. Clean your windows – inside and out! This will not only increase your curb appeal; it will allow more light into your home. Finally, use a power washer (rent one if you don’t own one!) to clean up your driveway and sidewalks. You will be amazed at the color change in your exterior when you power wash it.
Fix what’s broken!
This suggestion seems quite basic, but once you take inventory around the outside of your home you might be surprised at how many things are in need of repair. That shutter that has come unattached and is slightly crooked is a flaw that you have grown accustomed to over the years. Take a few minutes to make sure it is straightened and secured. If you have shingles that are missing, replace them. Make sure your gutters are in good shape and cleaned out. If you have light fixtures that are broken or damaged, take care of those. Oh – and while you’re working on the light fixtures, make sure they all have working bulbs! Finally, a major eyesore on the exterior of your home is a broken window. While it may cost a bit more than the other items on this list, you’re likely going to need to replace it before closing anyway. If your home is not well-maintained on the exterior, buyers will expect that the rest of the home is in disrepair as well. Conversely, once all your minor repairs are finished, the exterior of your home will reflect how well you have cared for the interior.
Trim up the yard!
Keeping up a yard is a year-round endeavor, but it is so important when you are trying to sell your home. Make sure you keep the lawn trimmed, the weeds pulled, and the sidewalk and driveway edged and neat. If any of your shrubbery is overgrown, cut it back for a more manicured look. (Hint – make sure you do that before you wash the house.) Plant some flowers, either in your flower beds or in pots, to add some color and warmth to the front of your home. Remember to water them! Dead flowers DO NOT help your curb appeal!
Spruce up the front porch!
Dress up your front porch with a few accents. Draw attention to your home with a splash of color. Paint your front door or apply a fresh coat of stain. Add some colorful cushions to your porch furniture. Add an American flag. Put a colorful wreath on your front door. Put some bright flowers in pots or make a statement with an urn arrangement. Add window boxes with colorful flowers to add character and color to the front of your home.
The best idea is to go to the street and look back at your front porch. Does anything draw your eye? Is there a focal point or anything that says to a buyer “Hey, look at this great house!” If not, use these ideas to create an area that really allows a buyer to imagine themselves relaxing and enjoying their new home.
Upgrade the details!
Finally, pay attention to the details that set your home apart from the rest. Upgrading the outside of your home sets the expectation for the same type of interior upgrades. Add a custom mailbox or flower beds around your existing one. Update your exterior light fixtures for a more contemporary look. Upgrade your door handles or even consider replacing your front door if it’s outdated. Make sure you have large, clear street numbers, preferably by using an address plaque or architectural numbers on your home. It’s important that buyers know they are looking at the correct home, and the address needs to be visible from the street or clearly marked on the mailbox. Look around your neighborhood at other homes and see what appeals to you about home exteriors. If you see something that looks great, copy it!
Use these simple steps as a working plan to really enhance your home’s curb appeal. Remember, the first impression of your home is critical to enticing a buyer to take a closer look. Bump up your curb appeal and buyers will want to see what other amenities your home has to offer!
If you have any questions about curb appeal or if you are ready to sell your home, let us help! Contact us today!