Curb appeal…we all hear that term so many times, but do you really understand why it’s so important? Curb appeal is like the outfit you choose to wear to interview for that job you so badly want. That outfit is the first thing your potential employer is going to see and it’s also what is going to shape his or her first thoughts about you. Curb appeal is the same thing. The way your house looks on the outside is going to form buyers’ opinions about its overall character and condition on the inside. Making an amazing first impression is crucial when selling your house. Don’t get lazy with it!
You see your home every day. So it’s easy to get used to its charm and it’s easier to overlook the wear and tear that happens gradually over time. Make the most of your home’s lasting impression and give it an exterior facelift that will catch buyers’ attention. Here are the dos and don’ts of curb appeal that will add value to your home and get it that much closer to being SOLD!
DO look into landscaping. If you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to livening up your front yard, find someone who does. Investing in a landscape plan will pay off when potential buyers are checking out your home. If you have a green thumb of your own, head to your local nursery and purchase perennials, bushes and quality mulch. You’ll be surprised at how a little landscaping can go a long way.
DON’T plant annuals in the front yard. Annual plants live for one growing season and then die, while perennials regrow every spring. Plant a few perennials in the garden bed to enhance the overall look and save you the hassle of having to replant flowers every season.
DO fix up that front door. Your front door may be in good condition and not need to be replaced, but still consider adding a fresh coat of primer and exterior paint to spruce it up. A brightly colored door is a great way to draw attention to your house and make it feel contemporary and inviting. If you don’t want to paint, still give your door a good scrub. You could even spray paint your existing door’s hardware. Some home renovations bring you more bang for your buck than others, and according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Reportfor 2015, a new front door is the top-ranking home improvement.
DON’T hide the entrance. Don’t make visitors guess where to walk or which door to come to. Make the entrance to your home clear and inviting. The front door should be easily accessible with a warm, welcoming appearance. Trim down any overgrown plants on your walkway so the path isn’t covered. Make sure there aren’t any lawn ornaments, chairs, or children’s toys in the way. But let’s be honest, those things shouldn’t be there anyway.
DO get a mailbox makeover. An outdated, tacky, and wobbly mailbox interferes with the overall look and feel of your home. Replacing your mailbox will magnify your curb appeal and give your home a little personality as well. If it is in good shape, thoroughly clean all the dirt and grime off so it looks brand new.
DON’T stray from the overall style of the neighborhood. You want to stay in sync with your surroundings. Make sure the color of your house, your lawn and even your mailbox are perfectly in harmony with the neighborhood. This shows that you care about your home and the culture of the community. Keep this in mind, and you won’t decrease your property value or detract from nearby houses.
DO put a fresh coat of paint where it’s needed. If the exterior of your home is painted, inspect it carefully. Peeling paint is one of those things you may overlook but potential home-buyers will quickly notice.
DON’T spend the time and money to repaint the interior and/or the exterior just to use a color that’s not appealing to the majority of buyers. Make sure to choose a neutral tone that’s in style at the time. For instance, grays are very en vogue right now – beiges, not so much.
DO wash the exterior of your house. Clean out those gutters, wash the windowsills, and make those windows shine. Many buyers are warned to look for dirty gutters as they can lead to long-term maintenance problems in the future. Take a step back (or multiple steps) and look at your home from a buyer’s perspective. Do you see any dirt and grime? Do you see a chimney that needs replacing or a roof that needs tending? Add that to your list! A nice, thorough facelift of the front of your home can increases its value tremendously.
DON’T do everything yourself. Reviving your home’s look on your own might seem like the less stressful route, but in reality, having help makes the process much smoother. They can help you squeeze every last penny out of the value of your home. Curb appeal calls for a good balance between DIY and professional assistance.
DO utilize the 75% Rule on the exterior as well. This means minimize the yard art, kids’ toys in the backyard, furniture on the front porch, etc. The 75% Rule applies to all areas of your property.
DON’T leave the driveway too cluttered. That’s great if you recycle, but you don’t need to leave your bins front and center for everyone to see. Keep those, as well as your garbage cans, out of sight. Also, don’t keep too many vehicles in the driveway. You don’t want it looking like there is limited space. Instead, give your home an open and spacious feel by parking somewhere else in the meantime if necessary.
For all of our sellers, we complete a Personalized Pre-Listing Checklist™ with all items that need to be completed inside and out in order to get their home market-ready. This list includes a very detailed list of curb appeal items, too. If you’re looking to sell a home, we’re happy to help!