When selling a home, first impressions have impact – positive or negative – on potential home buyers. An attractive exterior and well-maintained lawn can make or break a home sale. Even if buyers look beyond your home’s problem areas and stick around, if your house fails to impress upon first sight, you could be leaving money on the table. Here are tips from real estate and design pros that will help you increase your home’s curb appeal.
Manicure Your Lawn
No matter what time of year you list your home for sale, lawn care if something you cannot ignore. Grass should be evenly mowed (not scalped), edged and free of visible weeds. that might indicate a pest or fungus problem. Begin treatment as soon as possible to give the affected areas time to improve. Trim trees and bushes, and plant fresh seasonal flowers for a colorful welcome at the curb and along sidewalks. Some agents agree that pops of color can help divert attention away from any problem areas needing more time to improve.
Spruce Up Exterior Surfaces
This next tip takes more elbow grease than money. If your home has dingy vinyl siding or mildewed gutters, stained driveways or faded walkways, pressure-washing will bring the surfaces back to life. For as little as $26, you can rent a pressure washer from your local home improvement store. If you live in a humid climate, check surfaces like stepping stones or rock ledges and pathways for algae.
If the surfaces require a little more sprucing up like fresh paint on shutters, garage doors and the trim, before applying a fresh coat will give your home’s exterior the boost it needs to get the attention of home buyers.
Accent Your Front Door
Your front door is the focal point of your home. It either welcomes would-be home buyers or declares, “It only gets worse from here.” Decorators and home stagers agree a fresh pop of color on the front door can make your property stand out.
You also want to ensure the door is in good condition. Inspect it for signs of weathering like cracks in the wood, chipped paint, hinges that squeak or worn hardware. These are easy do-it-yourself fixes with some wood putty, sand paper, door lubricant and a quart of paint.
Add Outdoor Lighting
Realtors encourage prospective buyers to drive neighborhoods at night to view homes in a different light. For this reason, consider adding or sprucing up your property’s accent lighting. Replace aging light fixtures or spray paint lights that may show signs of aging. Use inexpensive solar LED spikes to illuminate pathways and sidewalks. If there are stairs leading to the entry, install an inexpensive railing light kit for a dramatic impact. Tasteful exterior lighting shows a touch of class while emphasizing personal safety.
Mend Your Fence
Buyers prefer fenced property for added protection and privacy. In recent years fencing has become a popular (and pricey) addition as they have become more decorative and somewhat of a statement piece. Even if your home’s fence is not “fancy”, if it is rusted, has rotted boards or a broken gate, home buyers are going to see dollar signs rather than a desirable selling point. Rather than distract buyers from your home’s overall value, mend any problems before putting your home up for sale.
Put Things Away
Real estate agents and home stagers alike offer The same is true for the garage or other exterior spaces like patios, decks and storage sheds. A “messy” or cluttered home, including objects like bikes, mowers and extra lawn furniture left lying around; prevent prospective buyers from imagining their own lives taking place in your soon-to-be-former home. Moving items to a storage unit will be worth it when you receive a fast and full-price offer on your home.
When selling, curb appeal can influence buyers from the moment they lay eyes on your home. Whether online or in person, your property’s appearance will make or break the opportunity to get the best asking price for your home. The exterior should tell potential buyers you take pride in ownership and entice them to want to look inside.