Creating Maximum Curb Appeal When Selling Your Home
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Curb appeal is what helps to draw potential buyers into a house with a quick glance. It is the combination of good maintenance, visual charm, and attention to detail. All it takes is appealing (or unappealing) landscaping or an attractive (or unappealing) entryway to make or break a home sale. If your home is lacking in curb appeal, many potential buyers will throw a cold shoulder without giving it another glance, or they’ll attempt to give you a lowball offer.
Luckily, even if you have a small budget, you can easily improve the way your home looks, particularly if you do some of the jobs on your own. Here are a few ways you can increase your home’s curb appeal.
Clutter is essentially in the eye of the beholder. Ultimately, prospective buyers need to be able to envision themselves in the home, with their own style and possessions. To help them do this, you should opt for a clean and streamlined look in the home.
To help declutter your home, here are a few things you can do:
- Remove trash cans, skateboards, bicycles, garden tools, and any other evidence of family life.
- Walk around the entire house with a garbage bag or can, tossing any pieces of paper and plastic, leaves, branches, dog waste, etc. that does not belong in the lawn.
- Eliminate the majority of your pots and outdoor furniture. Only leave a few that are strategically placed.
Freshen Up the Entryway
Clean up the front door and consider giving it a fresh coat of paint. You may even want to consider using a bright, pop of color that complements the rest of your home’s exterior. If the screen or storm door is damaged, repair, replace, or remove them.
Remove all items, including pots and furniture, from the entryway, porch, or deck. Give this area a very thorough cleaning. If needed, repaint or touch up the area.
Last, but not least, consider installing a custom or new front door. Polish metal fixtures and knobs. Finally, place a big potted plant on either side of the front door.
Add Outdoor Living Space
If your deck, porch, or garden allows, consider adding furnishings that will expand your home’s living space outside. Homebuyers are becoming more and more interested in outdoor rooms. Some particular suggestions include the following:
- Deck furniture
- A porch swing
- An indoor-outdoor rug
- Mood lighting
- An outdoor bar
- Dining or barbecuing areas
Repaint the Exterior
Repainting the exterior of your home is not a small budget item. However, if your home is in need of a paint job and your budget allows, a new coat of paint on the outside of the home can seriously amp up the curb appeal.
Take a tour through the neighborhood to get ideas of colors and shades that are of interest to you and that are trendy with the community. If you see a particular color that you like, feel free to stop and ask the homeowner for the brand and color name.
Paint the Trim
If painting the entire exterior of the home is not in your budget, then just paint the trim. Believe it or not, something as simple as this tiny upgrade adds more pop than you could imagine.
Replace Entry Fixtures
Old fixtures in the entryway can appear unappealing and dated to prospective buyers. On the other hand, new fixtures in the entryway can provide an updated appearance for your home. Since you are updating exterior features, go ahead and replace the mailbox, house numbers, and front door locks. You can achieve a contemporary look with brushed nickel, or you can maintain a traditional appearance with an oiled bronzed finish.
If you don’t already have one, rent a power washer and clean the driveway, sidewalks, car port, decks, etc. If you are unable to repaint the exterior of the home, use the power washer to clear any debris and grime from the siding. Be careful in doing this, as you could damage the siding. The rental company should be able to advise you on how to properly use the power washer on the siding.
Concrete and asphalt pavement should undergo any repairs, as well as a new sealcoat. If your driveway is gravel, get a fresh layer of gravel spread over the top.
Clean the Windows
Clean all the windows—every single one—and make sure that no streaks are left behind. If you think you’ll leave streaks, then leave this job to the professionals, as you want to ensure your home is shown to prospective buyers with sparkling windows. Also, don’t forget to clean the inside and the outside of the windows.
Clean/Repair the Roof
If weeds, moss, or mold has overtaken your roof, clean it thoroughly. If any shingles, shakes, or tiles are broken or missing, replace them. Don’t forget to clean the gutters as well.
Mow, Weed, and Trim
The lawn should be kept mowed until the house is sold. Choose a weekend and spend it pruning, shaping, and cutting shrubs that have become overgrown. Areas that have become overgrown and been neglected should be mowed. Trees should be pruned and limbs that are hanging over the house should be removed. Weed the gardens thoroughly, and then use compost or mulch to cover garden beds.
Add High-Impact Landscaping
Your home exterior can quickly be defined by its landscaping, so make sure it is tasteful. Groupings of plants tend to be noticed more than individual flowers. Consider placing a couple of trees in pots to help fill in bare spots or holes in your landscaping.
Shrink or Improve the Lawn
It can be difficult to make your lawn look fantastic when it is sickly or weedy, so do your best to pizzazz it up. Alternatively, you can minimize the maintenance—and the water bill—by removing a part of the lawn and replacing it with some drought-tolerant landscaping.
Edge the Garden
To create a clean, professional appearance around the landscape, consider adding edging or a border to the garden beds and paths, which helps to add to the overall curb appeal. There are numerous materials at your disposal that can be used, including concrete, stone, metal, brick, wood, and manufactured stone. However, you should be wary of plastic edging, as it can appear flimsy and cheap, which can be a turn off for buyers.
Install Outdoor Lighting
Path lighting can be a high-impact upgrade that is relatively inexpensive. Plus, it can easily be installed on your own. Utilize a low-voltage outdoor system, or you can simply use solar path lights and not mess with the wiring at all. Solar lights tend to not be as bright, but path lighting doesn’t necessarily require incredibly bright light, since it only needs visual prompts for appeal and safety.
In addition, you should consider adding or replacing lighting fixtures to the exterior of the home and/or garage. Again, it is not needed to have glaring floodlights, as these can be incredibly blinding, potentially creating a hazard.
If you would like to learn more about maximizing curb appeal when selling your home, reach out to us at Earthscapes.