The Importance of Curb Appeal

Selling your home? First impressions are critical, and the importance of curb appeal can’t be stressed enough. Not only does it make your home more appealing to buyers the minute they lay eyes on it, but it also lets them know you’ve taken care of your home. Here are some simple things you can do to make sure the first impression you make is a good one.

Keep the yard neat. Make sure the lawn is mowed. And if you’re selling in the autumn, rake those leaves! Also, trim trees and shrubs. An unkempt yard will turn off buyers immediately, so hire someone for upkeep if necessary. You’ll recoup the cost when your house sells fast instead of languishing on the market!

Get a new welcome mat. For a few bucks and a quick trip to the store, you can give your entryway new life. Plus, it’ll encourage visitors to wipe their feet, keeping the inside of your home clean!

Install a new front door. The front door is often the focal point of a home’s exterior, and you don’t want dents, dingy hardware, and peeling paint to be the first thing a potential buyer sees. Sometimes a fresh coat of paint and/or new hardware will do the trick.

Make your windows sparkle. Give them a good cleaning inside and out and remove the screens to really make them shine. Also consider putting a fresh coat of paint on the shutters.

Don’t forget the garage. If needed, get a new garage door. According to the Cost vs. Value Report, sellers recoup 72% of the cost of this upgrade when they sell. Like the front door, a new paint of coat might do the trick, too.

The front porch should be inviting. Make sure it’s clear of debris and leaves. If it’s big enough, put out some rocking chairs to make it more inviting. And if you just have a small porch or stoop, consider adding a flower pot for a splash of color and added appeal.

The driveway should say “Welcome Home!” Clean up any oil stains and patch any cracks. If needed, consider a complete resurfacing. For an asphalt driveway, an alternative is to have a fresh coat of sealant applied. This can usually be done for less than $100 by a professional and is well worth the money spent. Some companies offer a discount if you can get a neighbor to have it done at the same time. Take advantage of this opportunity to make the houses next door look good, too!

Light up the night. Evening curb appeal is also important. If you have outdoor lights, leave them on for night showings. Solar lights are a great option if you don’t already have landscape lighting. Leave the interior lights on, too. The warm glow coming from inside beckons a buyer to come on in!

Source: Realtor Magazine, September/October 2012; “Amp Up Curb Appeal,,” by Melissa Dittmann Tracey

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