4. Maximum Curb Appeal

Woman planting purple flowers

Maximum Curb Appeal

When a home's curb appeal makes a great first impression, potential homebuyers are compelled to see what's inside. From creating an engaging front entry to staging outdoor spaces perfect for entertaining, we show you how to increase the value of your property before listing.

Think Like A Buyer

In many neighborhoods, the outdoor living spaces - yards, porches, patios, and decks - are just as important to homeowners and homebuyers as the homes’ interiors. To help you think like a buyer evaluate homes like yours that have recently sold or are currently on the market. Your property should be on par with the neighborhood, and for competitive advantage, outshine other homes for sale.

Make The Front Entry Say "Welcome Home"

A great looking front entrance is a must when you put your house up for sale. Whether you have a simple stoop or a sweeping front porch, it needs to be welcoming and arranged to make it easy for buyers to enter and exit the home. Here are some of the things that buyers appreciate and will add value.

  • Make sure the doors - main, screen, and storm - are clean and in good condition.
  • Locksets, doorknobs, handles, and hinges are like jewelry for your doors. They need to look nice and operate smoothly.
  • Don't overspend, but a new doormat is useful for keeping your front hall clean. Some sellers have a second mat as a back up during bad weather.
  • Add chairs and a side table if space permits, but don't overcrowd the porch or front patio.
  • Plant seasonal flowers in a few large pots and along the walkway. Fresh mulch also looks and smells great.
  • If your light fixtures are in good condition, polish them, up and put in bright lightbulbs. If you need new light fixtures, you can find inexpensive and attractive choices at home improvement stores and online.
  • Make sure the house numbers are easy to see so that people can find the house for showings!

Outdoor Clean-up

Show that your home is well-maintained to add to it’s real and perceived value.

  • Declutter and depersonalize the yard just like you’re doing inside.
  • Remove bird feeders, birdbaths, statues, and other decorations if they make the yard look cluttered.
  • Find a place to store garbage cans, sports equipment, and kids’ outdoor toys that you might usually leave out in the open.
  • Don’t overlook fences, dog runs, sheds, and outbuildings that look run down or unstable. Make any necessary repairs or even take them down and hauled away.
  • Remove or burn leaf piles, dead plants, and tree limbs that might have accumulated over the years.
  • f it feels like it’s going to be a lot of work to clean up your property, remember that your potential buyers will feel the same way.

Blue shed backyard with lilacs

Stage Outdoor Living Spaces

Show potential buyers how you’ve enjoyed the outdoor areas of your home, and help them envision how they’ll enjoy it, too.

  • Divide up large yards into multiple-use areas by creating separate spaces for relaxing and entertaining.
  • Make small yards, decks and patios look spacious with smaller-scale furniture and restrained decorating.
  • Create a fresh look by planting pots with seasonal flowers. A few large containers are usually more attractive than many small ones.
  • Arrange outdoor furniture for enjoying outdoor meals and conversations. Replace faded cushions and add a colorful outdoor rug to create a welcoming vignette.
  • Lighting can transform outdoor spaces. Depending on your home's style, consider foundation accent lighting, overhead lights, or pathway lighting for maximum impact.
  • Make sure that places where kids will play - like grassy areas, swing sets, climbing equipment, and sandboxes - are clean, safe, and attractive.

Rear deck with table and pots of flowers

Yard and Garden

Start getting your lawn into shape the season before you plan to sell. Overseed, fertilize, treat problem spots, and apply weed control to make the grass lush and green. Keep lawns watered, mowed and edged while you’re on the market.

Get garden beds into shape by pruning growth, pulling weeds, planting flowers, and adding fresh mulch. Dig edges of garden beds for neat lines and to contain mulch. If stone or brick borders your garden beds, make sure they are evenly set.

While you’re living in a house, it’s easy to overlook overgrown shrubs and trees. Trim shrubs that block windows and overhang walkways. Trees should be pruned and shaped, and deadwood hauled away.

Mulch yellow wagon, shovel, flowers

Exterior Repairs and Maintenance

The beginning of curb appeal is a well-maintained appearance. The condition of the exterior of the home is just as important to buyers as the home’s interior.

  • Make sure the front door and locks are in good condition. If the front door is in bad shape, then paint, stain or consider replacing it.
  • Siding, window frames, and trim should be free from damage, and clean or newly painted.
  • Repair or replace loose or missing shingles, flashing, and masonry.
  • Gutters and downspouts should be in good condition and carry water away from the foundation.
  • Power wash the driveway, patios, decks, walkways, stairs, and outdoor buildings.
  • Repair cracks or sinking in walkways, the driveway, patios, stairs, and porch or deck footings.
  • Paint, stain, or even replace worn-out garage doors.

Handyman on roof cleaning shutters

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