Curb Appeal

If you are considering selling your home you are probably thinking through how you can make it happen the fastest.  There is definitely a lot to consider when putting your house on the market and your realtor can help you prioritize all the details.  However, there is one thing that you can begin to do right away to increase the value of your home as well as how quickly it sells.  A huge factor for the marketability of any home is the curb appeal.  Does your front yard have dying bushes lining the driveway?  Is your mail box dated and rusty?  Can you see the house numbers clearly or are they faded?  Is the paint on your house dingy and dirty?  Over time we get accustomed to the look of our slowly deteriorating exterior and yard, but the home buyer has been pouring over pictures of beautiful and pristine homes and lawns and they will notice right away if your sidewalk is broken up and your kid’s toys are thrown in the corner!  These tips can help you get back on track and make your home ready for the market.  

  • Clean, clean and clean!  Cleaning is one of the biggest, easiest and cheapest things you can do to increase your curb appeal.  Get rid of any trash or broken lawn ornaments.  Clean out the flower beds of excess weeds and natural debris.  Rent or borrow a pressure washer and thoroughly clean the exterior of your house, windows, driveway and sidewalk.  
  • Updating your landscaping can give the front of your house a new life.  Clear out any dead foliage and bushes, trim low hanging branches as well as overgrown hedges.  Plant new, easy to maintain flowers in flower beds or beside the walk.  If it is in your budget, hire a landscaping company to come in and make everything look professional and nice. If you have a lot of work you need to do on the inside of your home to get it ready for the market, hiring a professional for the outside might be the best option.  If not you can get a lot of great ideas online and from your local home improvement store or garden store.  Make sure that you put in plants that will work well for your climate and shade to sun ratio. 
  • Your front door is an important part of the look and feel of the home.  Make it welcoming and appealing.  Painting the door a fresh, bright color and giving it some new hardware will breathe life into what might have been easily looked over.  Put some potted plants on either side of your door and either update your porch light or give it a clean and a fresh coat of metallic paint. 
  • Put in a new mail box or refurbish the one you have.  If it is an older mailbox made of metal, it can still be updated with a great metallic spray paint and some house numbers on the side.  Make sure it is clean and attractive.  With curb appeal, the little details can add up to a great looking house.
  • Depending on your budget, you may want to consider painting the exterior of your house.  If you hire a professional it will get done quickly but you will have a steep price tag as well.  If you are able to do it yourself, allow plenty of time to get it done and make sure you have the proper paint gear stocked up as you work.  You can save a lot of money by doing it yourself and a freshly painted home looks great from the road and on the listing.  Sometimes, just painting the trim can bring out the best in your home.  
  • Make sure that all of your gutters are clean, attached securely and free of rust.  This is a simple thing, but if it is not done, buyers will the get the impression that the home is not kept up well.

Many of these tips are free or inexpensive and can be done right away.  Take a good look at the outside of your home and make a list of what you can realistically do.  Curb appeal can mean the difference in your home selling quickly or being passed over.  Take the time to give it a nice face lift as your first step to getting it ready for the market.