Curb appeal is the visual impression your home makes to anyone viewing it from the street. It is often the home seller’s first and only chance to hook a potential buyer. Some homes have built-in curb appeal with attractive architecture, nice landscaping, or little touches like leaded glass windows or a charming front porch. But it is a misperception to think that a home either has curb appeal or it doesn’t any home can have curb appeal with just a few changes and some attention to detail.
Exterior Walls Leave Big First Impressions
Fresh paint does wonders to the appearance of a home. Environmental factors can take their toll on paint. In no time, the color’s luster can look dull and the house begins to look old and dated. You can make a huge difference by applying a new coat of paint or changing its color to a more appealing and up-to-date color.
When painting, choose a hue that matches the rest of the homes on the street. Also, keep in mind that homes with white and light neutral colors sell better than homes painted in darker colors. This is because light colors reflect the light, making a home look bigger. Darker homes appear smaller. Additionally, higher quality paint looks better, lasts longer and adds more value to your home.
If you’re on a budget, instead of painting the entire exterior, you can try cleaning the exterior of your home with a power sprayer, mild soap, and a little bleach to kill any mold that may be growing in your home. Sometimes this is all you have to do to make your home look as good as new.
Another low-cost option is to paint the trim and window casements to brighten up your home. Note: This sometimes makes the main part of the house look dirtier. In this case, it’s best to paint everything, or at least the front of your home. The investment in new paint is often returned with an increase in home buyers visiting your home — and eventually a higher sales price. If you have the time, painting the home yourself will save you money. Ask your local home maintenance store to help get you started with the process.
Improve Your Yard to Impress Buyers
A home with lots of colorful flowers in the front stands out from the other homes on the street and possibly from the other homes on the market. It pushes those emotional buttons of home and happiness that make buyers fall in love with a property. Even just greening up your lawn with a good dose of fertilizer improves its curb appeal.
Clean up daily after your pets. If a female dog has caused yellow spots to form on your lawn, invest in some sod from your local nursery and replace those areas. Trim around the edges of your lawn to give your grass a tidy, well-kept feel. Pull out weeds around your shrubs and flowers, and consider covering over any exposed dirt with treated wood chips or river stones. Plant some inexpensive, seasonal flowers and water them daily.
Make sure everything on your lawn is alive and thriving. Remove any dead branches and leaves from your hard and prune shrubbery back to a reasonable size. Trimming back any trees or shrubs that have grown past your windows will not only improve the way your house looks on the outside but also ensure that the interior of your home gets as much light as possible.
Buyers respond best to landscaping that complements the house and showcases its most attractive features. The plants need to be proportional to the house in order to complement the home rather than swallowing it up.
Sometimes shrubs have grown so far past the windows that trimming them would only leave them looking bare and scraggly. Your best bet, in this case, is to remove them and plant some small, inexpensive shrubs in the same spot. Augment them with flowers and mulch or wood chips to give a finished, manicured look.
Doors and Entries That Welcome New Buyers
Keep your sidewalk swept and clear of snow, leaves, and dirt. Remove any driveway oil stains with a rented steam or pressure cleaner. Add a wreath and a doormat to make the entryway even more inviting. A pot of flowers or ferns by the front door is also a warm touch. Make sure your front porch light works well and creates a nice ambiance at night. Paint the garage door. Replace, repaint, or sand and re-varnish the front door to make it look fresh and welcoming.
A pot of flowers or ferns by the front door is also a warm touch. Make sure your front porch light works well and creates a nice ambiance at night. Paint the garage door. Replace, repaint, or sand and re-varnish the front door to make it look fresh and welcoming.
Windows Say A lot About Your House
Keep your windows and what’s viewable from the outside clean. When you post a for sale sign, you can expect potential buyers to peek through the windows. Those curious lookers can turn into enthusiastic tour requesters and eventual buyers.
Since buyers start at your windows, any casements with rot need to be replaced or repaired. Check all front window for any cracks and have them fixed. Keep window sills clean both inside and out. Spiderwebs and fingerprints on the glass can turn off potential buyers. Remember to keep your blinds or drapes nice and neat, as their arrangement is visible from the outside as well.
Vinyl, double-paned and otherwise energy efficient windows make an impact on potential buyers. These types of upgrades translate into saved energy costs. It’s easy for the buyers to see their value. Some buyers might be willing to pay a premium for them.
Gutters Reveal How Well You’ve Taken Care of Your Home
Clean gutters and rain spouts so that a surprise rain doesn’t create a dam of leaves and an eventual flood that could dirty the exterior of your home. Leaves built up in the gutter create the impression that a house is old and decrepit. Repair any loose gutters and rain spouts.
A Clean Patio Leaves a Good Impression
Be sure that your children do not leave their toys or bikes scattered about your patio or driveway. If you can, put them in storage, preferably off the premises, while your home is on the market. This type of clutter can detract from a home’s well-kept exterior. It is also possible that seeing another family’s personal belongings outside a home could prevent a potential buyer from envisioning the home as their own.
A Cluttered Garage Turns Off Potential Buyers
Often, a home seller’s first impulse is to de-clutter a home’s interior by stacking all of their unused household items in the garage. Sure, this gives the rooms a nice clean flow. But at the same time, it shortchanges the garage’s selling points, as it makes that area of the home appear smaller than it really is. To solve this problem, you can rent a storage space for as little as $100 per month. It may be worth that small investment and hassle to get the ugly stuff out and make your home as inviting as possible.
Prospective buyers want to see lots of clean space in the garage and basement to get a good idea of how they will be able to store all of their items. You can make the garage look even more spacious by installing high wattage light bulbs.
If your garage door is a prominent feature on your home’s exterior, a fresh coat of paint might be a good idea as well. Most importantly, never leave your garage door wide open when your house is on the market.
The Importance of a Good Roof
You might be surprised to know that your roof can have curb appeal. A nice, clean roof line with secure shingles makes a house look structurally sound. A roof with curling or broken shingles, on the other hand, makes a house look disheveled and unkempt.
Check out the building codes regarding roofs in your area. Instead of paying laborers to strip the roof completely, you may be able to simply put another layer of asphalt shingle over your current roofing material.
Interested in Selling Your Utah Home? Get a Free Curb Appeal Audit
If you plan on selling your home soon, I’d be happy to stop by and give you my opinion on improvements that will help your home seller faster and for more money. Simply complete the form below to request your free audit.