First impressions are everything – at least when it comes to selling your home. You may have an updated, modern kitchen and an amazing spa bathroom, but no buyer will see either without first getting through your front door. Your home needs curb appeal, but it does not have to cost a fortune!
The home’s exterior – including the front entry, yard, driveway and sidewalk – should serve as a snapshot of what’s to come when potential buyers enter your home. Here’s how you can improve your home’s exterior appearance to attract potential buyers without breaking the bank.
Take a Step Back and Take a Snapshot
Walk across the street from your home or far enough down the driveway to get a good view of the house and its surroundings. Then, take photos of the home’s exterior. Tip: view the photos in colour and black and white, as it’s easier to see problems when colour doesn’t affect our senses. Consider the following:
- What is your first impression of the house and yard area?
- What are the best exterior features of the house or lot? How can you enhance them?
- What are the worst exterior features of the house or lot? How can you minimize or improve them?
Clean Up and Repair
Make a list of the problem areas you discovered. It is best to clean up and repair chores first, then put some time into projects that will make the grounds more attractive.
- Kill mold and mildew on the house, sidewalks, roof, or driveway.
- Stow away unnecessary garden implements and tools.
- Clean windows and gutters.
- Pressure wash dirty siding and decks.
- Edge sidewalks and remove vegetation growing between concrete or bricks.
- Mow the lawn and get rid of weeds.
- Rake and dispose of leaves.
- Trim tree limbs that are near or touching the home’s roof.
Improve Evening Curb Appeal
Examine your home again at dusk, as it isn’t unusual for potential buyers to drive by houses in the evening. One quick way to improve evening curb appeal is with lighting: string low voltage lighting along your driveway, sidewalks and near important landscaping elements. You can also add a decorative street lamp or an attractive light fixture on a front porch.
A Few More Curb Appeal Tips
- Consider landscaping decisions. There are times that adding elements to your landscaping can improve curb appeal, but there are other times when removing something is even more effective.
- If you can budget it, a fresh paint job will improve curb appeal tremendously. Find colour schemes that are appealing.
- Install a more attractive front door, or improve your existing one by replacing a plain doorknob with something more attractive. You may also chose to repaint or stain the door and polish the hardware.