Like moths attracted to flames, potential buyers can get riveted to a home with an excellent curb appeal. Buyers who will be drawn to your home’s appearance will definitely want to discover more of what lies behind your front door. Fortunately, maximizing your home’s curb appeal doesn’t necessarily mean spending thousands of dollars on big improvements and upgrades. The trick is in knowing what you should address and focus on giving buyers a visual sense of your home.
If you still can’t figure out what you need to do to improve your curb appeal when trying to sell your home, we’ve come up with an easy guide to help you start.
- Clean the driveways and sidewalks. Sweep your driveway and sidewalks to remove dirt and unwanted debris. Look out for cracked concrete, asphalt, and pavers and consider repairing those areas. If there’s severe damage, resurfacing can also be beneficial to return your walkways to its pristine shape.
- Spruce up the front door. There’s no doubt that your front door is the focal point of your home especially since all potential buyers will walk through it. If they will be greeted by the sight of hanging cobwebs and insects stuck in it, they will also be concerned on what lies ahead once they stepped in. Clean and polish your front door thoroughly to remove any unwanted dirt. You can also update it with a fresh coat of paint to improve its look without spending a lot. Many homeowners paint their front doors in colors contrasting to the house’s exterior, like a bright blue or a striking red on a white house, to make it stand out. Don’t forget to also paint the trim of the front door to complete its new and improved look.
Wash the windows and the outside of the house. Your windows help let the natural light flood into your rooms so don’t forget to clean them as well, especially those located in front of the house. Use soapy water and a squeegee to wash them, and then dry them off using newspapers or packing papers. Don’t forget to clean the window ledges as well.
Likewise, washing your home’s exterior can also increase its aesthetic value and make it visually appealing to buyers. Consider pressure washing to thoroughly remove any loose paint, grime, mold, mud, dust and other dirt.
- Clean and replace exterior lighting fixtures if needed. You don’t want prospective buyers who will visit your home to be attracted to your front door, but be turned off when they see cobwebs covering your lighting fixtures, especially those situated on your front porch. Clean the fixtures and replace any burned out light bulbs. If you found they already have outdated or corroded parts, consider buying a replacement. You can find inexpensive light fixtures in home improvements stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s. Clean and strategically placed lighting is going to be useful in highlighting your home’s lovely curb appeal, especially if you will hold showings later in the afternoon.
- Hide your garbage cans, recycling bins, and other eyesores. Part of maintaining a clean and clutter-free exterior is hiding your smelly garbage cans, recycling bins, garden hose, children’s toys, and other eyesores that could detract from your home’s beauty. Keep those things tucked away in your garage if you have extra space, camouflage them with fencing and plants, or just simply move them out of sight especially for showing periods. This way, buyers can focus more on your home’s features and other improvements you made.
KEEP THE WEEDS OUT
- Maintain a greener lawn. Make sure to water your lawn and get your grass as green and lush as possible to make it more appealing. If you’ve got a few barren spots, instead of throwing down some seeds, simply buy a considerable amount of sod needed to cover up those bare spots.
Clean up and remove unwanted weeds. Clean up around the shrubs, trim the hedges and remove dead, overgrown plants, leaves, and fallen tree branches. Remove unwanted weeds growing out in the driveway, sidewalk, fence, and flower beds because they can be a real eyesore, which home buyers will surely be watching out for. Don’t forget to also remove spider webs and animal droppings.
Trim the trees. Especially if your yard is surrounded by trees, trim them of any dead branches. Likewise, remove any dead trees and clear out your yard wastes to achieve a clutter-free yard.
FIX IT AND ADD COLORS
- Fix the fence. Inspect your fence and fix any part of it that needs to be repaired or painted. Also, trim any shrubs or plants nearby the fence to free it of any overgrown areas.
- Upgrade the mailbox. Inspect your mailbox to see if there’s a need to repair or replace it, especially if its metal stand is already wobbly, dented, or has been corroded. If you still don’t want to replace it, consider giving it a new look by applying a fresh coat of paint that matches your home’s exterior. This way, it can add a bit of personality to your property and potential buyers will also see it as an attractive feature.
- Don’t forget the garage door. Don’t neglect your garage door, especially if the garage is located at the front of your home and makes up a large portion of its exterior. Scrub the door to make it clean, fix any dents, and apply a fresh coat of paint if necessary to help improve your home’s appearance. In the 2017 Remodeling Impact Report by the National Association of REALTORS®, at least 65 percent of homeowners also chose to install a new garage door to replace worn-out surfaces, finishes, and materials.
- Clean and repair the roof. A filthy and old roof can have a demeaning impact to the home, especially since it can be seen in aerial photos and videos that are commonly used in listings. The roof is also an integral part that needs to be taken care of to maximize your curb appeal since it is clearly visible from above and can also be seen from the street. Have the roof pressure cleaned and repair broken or missing shingles. Don’t forget to also clean out and repair any damaged gutters. A good cleaning and completing the needed repairs can be all you need to have your roof look like brand new.
Add potted plants and flowers. Especially during springtime and summertime, adding potted plants and colorful flowers to your garden and on the entrance to your home can provide a lovely and inviting feeling. Decorative potted plants can also be useful if you have limited space for flower beds and you can’t have front landscaping. You can freely add plants and flowers in staging your front porch (which will be discussed later), near the home’s entryway, and around your garage.
- Replace your front door handle. Consider changing your front door handle especially if it’s already dull and aged. For many homeowners, replacing their front door handle is another way to incorporate their preferred style and colors, such as choosing a handle with an ornate decoration.
Update your address/house number. Replacing your old house number, especially if it’s already faded or missing, can also add character to your home. You can choose a style that will match the design and colors of the house, or just pick any of the latest trends to give your address number a makeover. As with flowers and lighting fixtures, it can also be a good investment that will definitely improve your curb appeal. House numbers can be purchased online or at local hardware and home improvement stores.
- Place a new welcome mat. As simple as it may sound, replacing your shabby and worn out welcome mat with a fresh, new one is a cheap way to add new life to your front entryway. It can also get rid of unwanted dirt brought in by potential home buyers during showings.
- Stage your front porch. By doing this, you’re setting up a very warm and inviting atmosphere, which is a powerful way to maximize your home’s curb appeal. Decorate the patio or front porch based on its size. As mentioned above, arrange freshly planted flowers in decorative pots or set up a colorful foliage around the area. You can also add attractive furnishings that will complement your home’s style, like a bench, coffee table, and an outdoor rug. After all the cleaning and repair work you’ve done, potential buyers will not only appreciate the cleanliness and tidiness of the home’s exterior, but also the welcoming vibe your front porch will give. It will let buyers imagine themselves relaxing in their front yard with a cup of coffee during mornings or a glass of beer during evenings.
Even the smallest repairs and updates can actually help enhance your home’s curb appeal. They will help create a welcoming environment that can attract buyers to check the home further. Just remember that before you start working on such improvements, do your research and planning first. List down the things you want to improve, what you will work on first, and most importantly, figure out your budget that will help set your priorities.