If you are in the process of selling your home, it’s important to remember that your home’s curb appeal can go a long way towards attracting potential buyers. Homes that look neat and well-cared for tend to spend less time on the market, and often command higher selling prices than those whose owners overlook this crucial selling point.
What is Curb Appeal?
Curb appeal is the first impression potential buyers form of your home and property. In other words, it’s what they see the moment they pull up to your property. Since you only get one chance to make a favorable lasting first impression, let’s take a look at ways to add appeal to your home and increase its value.
What Potential Buyers Look for in a New Home
When potential buyers schedule a tour of your home, they are looking for ways they can imagine living there. They are interested in seeing what kind of potential your property has to accommodate their lifestyle and belongings. It is to your advantage, as the seller, to present your home and property in its best possible light.
Ways You Can Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal
There are many simple ways you can increase your home’s curb appeal to make it more attractive to buyers. The first step is to take a walk around your property and look at it through the eyes of someone who is seeing it for the first time. Remember to look at the property from the point of view of a potential buyer, notas a homeowner. Pay special attention to the following areas:
Sidewalks and Walkways
Sidewalks and walkways should be free of cracks, holes, or excessive dirt or debris. They should be neatly edged.
Driveways should have a smooth finish, be free of cracks or holes, and be neatly edged.
Hedges and Lawns
- Hedges should be classically trimmed. This not the time to experiment with odd shapes or patterns. Landscaping should be well cared for and well maintained.
- Grass should be neatly cut and free of any weeds or grass clippings.
- Lawns should be free of any unnecessary clutter. Storage lawn maintenance equipment, outdoor toys, tools, etc. in their proper locations.
- Trees on your property should be in good health, free of any dead limbs that could cause a hazard, and safely trimmed away from any power lines.
- Any trees that overhang the roof line should be trimmed back.
- Depending on the time of year, leaves should be raked and disposed of.
Flower and Vegetable Gardens
Flower and vegetable gardens should be free of any plant debris and neatly maintained.
Siding and Brick Exteriors
- Exterior siding should be free of dents and be well fitting to the sides of the home.
- Bricks and the mortar used to join them should not be crumbling or have obvious chips or gouges.
Windows, Window Shutters, and Window Screens
- Windows should be clean and free of grime.
- Window screens should be free of rips and tears, and should close properly.
- Window shutters should hang correctly.
Gutters and Downspouts
- Gutters should be free of debris and in good repair.
- Downspouts should be free of any clogs and free-flowing to allow for proper drainage.
- Exterior Surfaces
- Exterior paint should not be faded or peeling. Apply a fresh coat of paint if needed.
- Pressure wash exterior surfaces to remove any mold or mildew.
- Avoid garish paint schemes. Natural, appealing neutral palettes tend to be more appealing to home buyers.
Exterior openings, such as windows, doors, and vent openings should have working seals or weather stripping to help reduce energy expenses (consult your CPA about potential tax credits).
Porches, Decks, Steps, and Railings
Exterior steps, decks, porches, and railings should be in good repair and free of any signs of wood rot, excessive weathering, o other potential safety issues.
- Check for areas of your home’s exterior and property that are shrouded in darkness as night falls. These areas may present potential buyers with security concerns.
- Consider adding a light feature to help brighten up any potential trouble spots.
Taking the time to stage the exterior of your home with the same care and attention to detail that you use for the interior will help to increase your home’s curb appeal. Proper curb appeal efforts can help to increase both your property value and your asking price.