The exterior of your home is the first thing any potential buyer sees when you’re showing your house. Any real estate agent will tell you, a person could decide whether or not they’re going to make you an offer before they even step foot in the door. That’s why curb appeal is so important.
A lot of home sellers think it’s a difficult and expensive undertaking to get the exterior of your home looking tip-top for showings and open houses. But it doesn’t have to be! By following these ways to improve your curb appeal, you can have your home ready to show in no time, and save a little money in the process.
Assess what needs to be done
The absolute first thing you need to do is take a walk around your house. Chances are, most days you walk the same routes. Your front door to your mailbox, or to your car. This means there may be areas that need improvement you haven’t even noticed. Someone thinking of buying your house is going to be drawn to details like landscaping, walkways, and lighting.
Head across the street and take a look at your home from that point of view. This will help to give you more of the big picture. Maybe your mailbox is looking rough, there are cracks in the walkways you haven’t noticed, or you missed some weeds the last time you mowed your lawn. It’s important to look at your home through the eyes of a buyer.
Make sure your walkways and sidewalks are clean
It’s easy to focus on areas of your home’s exteriors like landscaping, or “softscape”. But what about the “hardscape”? This includes your walkways, driveway, sidewalks, and any other stone or concrete features you may have, like stepping stones. Failing to fix or improve these parts of your exterior are one the most common mistakes home sellers make.
When you inspect these things, how do they look to you? In addition to major issues, like cracks, a potential homebuyer is going to notice if they look dirty or dingy. If that’s the case, then break out the hose and spray them down. This will get any dirt or debris off of them.
If a hose just won’t cut it, then you should think about pressure washing them. If you don’t own your own pressure washer, head over to the closest big-box home improvement retailer and rent one. It’s probably less expensive than you think, and certainly cheaper than hiring someone.
Slap on a coat of paint
A gallon of paint can make all the difference in curb appeal. It’s also shown to boost home value. You don’t have to repaint your entire house. Just the front of the house and anything else that can be seen from the street.
If you want to stand out, you can go with a more vibrant color. Don’t go too crazy though. A buyer may not want the impression that the first thing they have to do is paint their new home. You also don’t want the color of the front to clash with the rest of the exterior. If you have an HOA, you’ll need to make sure whatever color you choose follows their regulations.
If you really want to go the extra mile, consider using a different color for your trim, doors, and shutters. Again, nothing too wild, and you’ll want to make sure that any color you use for these compliments the exterior wall color.
Put up a new mailbox
This is an easy upgrade that can be done regardless of whether you have a mailbox that is located near the street, or a box that is mounted to your home. It will show potential buyers your attention to detail. Believe it or not, something as small as a mailbox can have a big impact on curb appeal.
This is one of those things that can be done in a relatively short amount of time, and you don’t have to spend a lot on it. Just choosing a mailbox that’s nice and new that goes well with your home will make all the difference.
Install new lighting fixtures
There was a time not all that long ago when most houses came with some pretty boring exterior lighting. Not to mention, trends and styles change. You’ll want something that helps to give your home a contemporary look.
Exterior lighting, similar to a mailbox, is an easy one because you’re simply replacing what’s already there. Many times the new fixtures will fit in right where the old ones were. You might not even have to drill new holes or replace the mounts.
Keep function in mind when you’re buying your new lighting. You’ll want to be certain that it sufficiently lights your driveway and entryway. Not only does this make your home look better at night, but it gives a sense of safety.
New house numbers
Last but not least on this list is putting up new house numbers. In addition to the value it’ll add in appearance, it ensures that any potential buyers will be able to find your house. While this may sound a bit silly, it’s practical.
Maybe a potential buyer wants to drive by your home to check it out before deciding to request a showing. They may want to see the neighborhood, and check out the curb appeal of your property. That’s pretty difficult to do if they can’t see your house numbers. Yes, you may have a sign in your yard. And so might 5 other homes on your block.
It’s also one of those things you need to do to keep up with the contemporary look. Modern house numbers made of aluminum, brass or steel will really grab the attention of homebuyers. If you have cast iron, or those stickers, it’s not going to give a great impression. Also, the finish should match your exterior light fixtures if possible.
Improving the look of the exterior of your home doesn’t have to be expensive, difficult, or even that time consuming. With a little money and effort on your part, you can attract buyers, and get the best selling price, by giving your home the curb appeal it deserves!