You wouldn’t head to a job interview, first date or meet your future in-laws for the first time without putting thought and effort into your appearance, so why would you put your home on the market without making sure it radiates curb appeal? Curb appeal is the attractiveness of a property for sale and its surroundings when viewed from the street — or curb (or in modern times, when viewed online on a smartphone or other electronic device). In a nutshell: the better your house looks on the outside, the more likely people will want to take a look inside and, ultimately, make an offer.
Not only do homes with an eye-catching exterior tend to sell faster, they often sell for a higher price.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, homes with high curb appeal tend to sell for an average of 7 percent more than similar houses with an uninviting exterior.
Small Changes to Create a Welcoming Home
Now that you know about the importance of curb appeal, you’re likely wondering, “Is it expensive?” Not necessarily. Like any other home improvement project, the cost varies, depending on what needs to be done and your budget. Rest assured that simple, inexpensive changes can make a big impact on making your home stand out in a good way.
If you’re looking for inexpensive changes that can be tackled in a weekend, we suggest the following:
The adage: “A place for everything, everything in its place” applies to the outside of your home as much as it applies to the inside of your home. You want your home’s architecture and landscaping to be the main attractions, not the yard tools, garden hoses, kid toys, recycling bins and other clutter dotting your property. Tuck items neatly away in sheds, garages and other storage spaces.
Let Your Landscaping Work for You
According to Consumer Reports, a well-manicured yard can boost a home’s value 3 to 5 percent. In addition to making sure your lawn is freshly mowed, be sure to trim hedges, bushes and shrubs; cut branches of trees that are blocking windows; and remove weeds from planting beds. Cutting branches that block windows offers the added benefit of helping get more light to the interior, which is a definite plus!
Consider planting some bright flowers or plants in your front yard (depending on the time of year) to add a happy, pop of color. While you’re planting, be sure to add fresh mulch to the flower beds, which will give your landscaping a fresh appearance and will keep weeds to a minimum. Complete the look by adding a border or edging to paths and garden beds for a clean, professional appearance that adds to the curb appeal. The choice of materials abounds, including stone, concrete, manufactured stone, wood, brick and metal edging.
Create a Welcoming Front Entrance
Take the time to make sure your walkway, porch and front door are ready to greet potential buyers. Inexpensive tips that make a huge difference include:
- Clearing dirt, leaves and debris from walkway
- Pressure washing brick and concrete walkways and patios
- Removing dirt and cobwebs from the front door
- Giving your front door a coat of color that complements your existing color palette and house style
- Cleaning and polishing exterior light fixtures, door hardware and other accents
- Updating builder-grade or outdated front door fixtures
- Dressing up the porch with seating, cushions and colorful pots of flowers and plants
Bigger Budgets, Bigger Changes
If you have the time and the budget, consider tackling these larger projects and bringing in some professional help to get the job done.
Professional Landscape Maintenance
A lush, green lawn never fails to catch the eye of house hunters.
In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Remodeling Impact Report, standard lawn care service is the number one project that appeals to buyers. It should be noted that seventy-four percent of REALTORS® have suggested sellers complete a professional landscape maintenance program before attempting to sell, and 17 percent said the project most recently sealed a deal for them, resulting in a closed transaction.
Hire a crew to routinely mow your lawn, prune shrubs, remove weeds and maintain the overall beauty of your landscape.
Paint the Exterior
Painting the exterior of your home is definitely not a low-budget option, but if the paint on your home is chipped or peeling, a couple of coats of paint can dramatically transform the look of your home. The money invested will be well worth the positive effect it’ll have on potential buyers, and attracting multiple offers.
Professionally Clean Your Roof and Gutters
A roof that’s covered in stains and dirt or coated with rotting leaves or a layer of moss can leave buyers with a less than favorable first impression. Buyers may automatically assume the roof is in poor condition and lose interest in the home. Hire professionals to have any stains, moss or algae growth removed. Be sure to also have your gutters cleaned and have any loose gutters reattached.
Create a Walkway
What better way to guide home buyers to your welcoming porch and front door than with a beautiful walkway? A variety of materials can be used, including decorative pavers and bricks that can be laid in an intricate herringbone or basketweave pattern, or traditional bluestone to create a timeless, elegant appeal.
Wondering if your home passes the curb appeal test? If you’re planning on selling your home, contact one of our agents for proven tips on how to maximize your home’s curb appeal, and soon you’ll be capturing the attention of multiple potential buyers.