Preparing to sell your home is a big undertaking. Between finding a real estate agent, making necessary repairs and staging your home, there’s a lot of work involved. It’s hard to tell which part of selling is most important: You want to make changes that will increase value without spending a lot of money. You also likely want to make quick changes, so you don’t delay the selling process.
While you’ll be busy with the interior of your home, don’t neglect the outside – it’s just as important. Here are some tips on how to increase curb appeal so you can sell your home faster!
What Is Curb Appeal?
Curb appeal refers to the attractiveness of a property when viewed from the street. This is an important attribute of homes for sale because like anything in life, first impressions matter!
The outside of your home is what potential buyers are going to see first – the windows, the porch, the landscaping. If your outdoors needs more TLC than you have time for, don’t panic. There are many smaller changes you can make to increase curb appeal with minimal effort and money that won’t prolong your selling process.
Curb Appeal Ideas: 10 Ways To Make Your Home More Attractive To Sellers
1. Focus On Landscaping
Throughout the selling process, consistently mow the lawn, prune bushes and maintain plants. Regularly water the grass, edge the lawn and remove any grass clippings after mowing. Cut back overgrown shrubs and bushes so they’re not distracting from the main view.
If weather permits, planting flowers and plants can really make your landscape pop with color. Ideally, you’ll want to choose plants or flowers that look good all or most of the year and that are easy to maintain. Although home buyers love a beautiful landscape, try to avoid using anything too extensive, as buyers may lose interest if it seems difficult to maintain.
It’s important to keep up with the landscape all year. There isn’t much you can do about dead grass in the winter, but you can remove leaves, branches and dead plants that are cluttering up your yard. Shovel snow, rake leaves and pull weeds in a timely manner no matter what the season.
2. Clean Up
You want to avoid your home looking cluttered or crowded. Put away any toys, lawn ornaments and religious decor, and place trash and recycling bins out of sight. When taking pictures of your home, put your car in the garage or on the street so your driveway isn’t full, and the view of your garage isn’t obstructed.
Make sure there isn’t any trash or dog waste around the yard and pick up any fallen branches. Cleaning the gutters where nests, leaves and debris tend to congregate will not only make the area look more presentable, but will also help maintain them.
Between different seasons, weather and general wear and tear, the siding of your home will likely have some dirt and grime on it. Power washing siding as well as the deck, porch, carport and pavement will keep them in good condition. Renting a power washer or hiring a professional are both relatively inexpensive ways to really make your home shine.
Homeowners can take this a step further by adding a fresh coat of paint to the entire outside of their home. This can be done by the homeowner themselves or by hiring a professional and can truly transform the appearance of the property.
While you’re at it, thoroughly clean the windows and shutters where excess dirt, grime and cobwebs tend to stick. You want your windows to sparkle, so scrub them inside and out for the best effect. Consider trying new outdoor window treatments, such as replaced screens, new shutters and flower beds under the windows to freshen your home’s appearance.
3. Brighten The Entryway
Home buyers will want to picture themselves walking up to the front door every day, so making your entryway warm and welcoming is important.
One way to do this is by having a new, inviting and color-contrasting front door. Purchasing a new door or painting the old one a bright color can add new life to your home for far less money than changing the entire exterior of the house.
Additional ways to freshen up your home’s entryway include installing new hardware for your front door, adding new house numbers or even a new doorbell.
If you have a front porch, place a doormat, potted plants or a small chair to make the area more inviting. If you’re selling during winter, don’t put your curb appeal on ice. Take advantage of the holiday season and decorate accordingly; it affords you the opportunity to make the entryway more inviting. A few small and inexpensive changes to the front can really change the whole feel of the home.
4. Refresh Your Mailbox
Updating your mailbox is an easy way to alter the exterior of your home. Whether it’s at the end of your driveway or attached to the front of the house, repainting or replacing your mailbox can change the personality of the home and keep it from appearing run-down or outdated.
5. Create A Walkway
If your home doesn’t have one already, creating a walkway can add character and make your home feel more inviting. Consider the exterior style of your home when deciding the type of pathway you want to create. For example, broad stepping stones with low-growing plants create an informal walkway perfect for rustic homes, where brick or concrete may be more appealing for modern homes.
6. Add Or Improve Fencing
Fencing surrounds your house, making it one of the most impactful factors in curb appeal. The right fence adds solid visual boundaries to your property, highlighting the size and atmosphere of your yard. While privacy fences are popular for backyards, you can consider options with more character in the front, such as white picket fences for rustic homes or wrought iron for colonials.
7. Update Your Garage Door
If you have a garage, updating your garage door can add an element of both design and functionality to your home’s exterior. Although replacing the door can be expensive, there are smaller, more affordable updates you can make that will add depth and detail to your garage.
Most standard garage doors are white, making them appear dirty over time due to normal wear and tear. Painting your garage door can add a pop of color and make it look new without high costs. You can also consider adding details like magnetic hinges and handles.
8. Repave Or Accentuate The Driveway
Your driveway is the doormat to your house. Cracked, worn driveways reflect poorly on the condition of your home, while a positive driveway design can actually raise your sale price. If you have room in your budget, repaving your damaged driveway can make a huge impact on your home’s exterior. However, if your driveway is already in decent condition or if you are looking to keep costs low, there are inexpensive options to accentuate your driveway, such as adding planters, lights or a driveway border.
9. Get A Second Opinion
You might not notice any broken window hinges, chipped paint or the pile of bricks near the garage you forgot to put away, but someone else will. Have a friend or real estate agent look around your home to double check there aren’t any major repairs needed or eyesores you may have overlooked.
10. Determine If It’s Time To Upgrade
At some point, you’ll need to take inventory of the entire outside of your home. Most areas can be cleaned, spruced up or updated with minimal cost and effort, but if there are real issues that can’t be easily fixed, consider investing in larger renovations. Significant improvements to your home’s exterior could include siding replacement, gutter replacement, foundation repairs and porch repairs. Not only will these improvements help you sell your home faster, but it could bring you a better offer!
The Bottom Line
Remember: you only get one chance to make a first impression. Buyers will have already judged your home before they open the door. You want to make sure they have positive feelings before they even walk in so you have the best chance of selling quickly.
Interested in more home selling content? Check out the Quicken Loans® Learning Center!