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First impressions matter — especially when it comes to selling your home. Taking the time to improve your home’s curb appeal can translate to more buyer interest and higher offers as a result.
Whether you’re selling your home now or are still a ways off, here are some easy ways to increase your home’s curb appeal.
Repainting and touch-ups
Nothing revitalizes a home like a fresh coat of exterior paint, especially if your current color is less than desirable. Although a full exterior repaint is sure to pack a punch, it can also take lots of time if you do it yourself and lots of cash if you pay a professional.
If you don’t think you need a new coat on every square inch, you can touch up rough spots to cover chips or marks and make them less of an eyesore.
Replace the mailbox
While it may sound trivial, a new mailbox can bring a certain feeling as potential buyers drive up to your home. A dumpy or dented mailbox shows buyers that you likely don’t take good care of your home and can turn them off. Don’t lose buyers before they even pull in the driveway, and spend a little to replace an old or unsightly mailbox.
An important note: Make sure your box complies with all local regulations regarding mailboxes and placement. Unless you’re going all-out on a mailbox and simply replacing one in the same location, you likely won’t run into any issues — but it’s best to double-check before installing.
Landscaping is another aspect that can evoke certain emotions for buyers — both good and bad. Clean up any debris or leaves from your yard, and make sure it’s freshly mowed. Trim up any existing trees and shrubs.
Beyond these simple moves, you might also consider planting a statement tree if landscaping is currently scarce or placing some large potted plants on each side of the garage to add some design.
Upgrade the porch
If you’re lucky enough to have a porch, spend some time sprucing it up by adding a swing or bench and purchasing some colorful potted plants.
If your porch is in particularly rough shape, you may even put on a new coat of paint to freshen things up and make sure to replace any railings that are loose or falling apart. And don’t forget to buy a cute new doormat to greet visitors (and keep your home clean!).
Replace address numbers
Address numbers aren’t just an aesthetic — making sure your address is clearly marked can let potential buyers — or guests and delivery people — know they’re in the right place. Opt for simple, tasteful numbers that are large enough to be clearly visible from the street and that stand out enough from the color of the home’s exterior.
Check your fence
A chain link is fine for the back, but if you really want a “wow” factor, consider going the white picket fence route in your front yard. Unsightly or unkempt fencing can turn off buyers who assume you not only neglect your fencing but also other maintenance in your home. They may start seeing dollar signs in their head as they add up potential repairs needed — whether they’re actually needed or not.
Power wash sidewalk/driveway/porch
You’ll be surprised how well a good power wash can revitalize a sidewalk, driveway, or porch. After years of being perpetually subjected to all kinds of weather, layers of dirt and grime will have accumulated. If you don’t own a power washer or can’t borrow one from a friend or relative, you can likely rent one from your local hardware store for under $100. It will be well worth the money spent.
New front porch light fixture
Light fixtures can make your home feel dated right out of the gate, but the good news is that they’re cheap to replace. Choose lights that brighten your entryway and driveway and are easy to install. Most potential buyers will visit your home at a daytime open house or showing, but they may drive by at other times of the day, and you want your home to look inviting instead of dreary — even at night.
Freshen up the front door
An easy way to set your home apart is by painting the front door. A gallon of exterior paint costs less than $30 but can pack a punch when buyers are walking up to your home. Go bold and bright — but also make sure your color choice is tasteful and matches the other colors and the style of your home.
While you’re at it, consider adding a door hanger or wreath on the front of the door to add a homey feel. It can add a lot of charm for potential buyers and sets the right feeling from the outset.
Repair the roof
If your roof is particularly old, it may be best to replace it altogether. After all, buyers may ask that it be replaced after an inspection anyway or request a seller’s concession to assist with having it replaced on their own. If you’re having trouble finding the cash upfront to do so, you may look into a personal loan or even putting home renovations on a credit card until the sale of your home goes through.
If your roof is in relatively good condition, you can get away with simple repairs and thorough cleaning.
Windows and shutters
Take a look at your windows — particularly those facing the front of your home — and make sure they’re free of smudges or dog slobber. If you don’t have existing shutters, consider adding some in the same color scheme as the rest of your home. New wood shutters can really change the feel of a home.
If you have existing shutters, make sure the paint is in good shape, or add a quick topcoat to freshen them up. Nothing screams deferred maintenance like shutters with cracked or peeling paint.
Cut down on clutter
When it comes to first impressions, less is more. Take a good, hard look at the front of your home from the street, and edit out any distracting or unpleasing aspects.
It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway), that any toys should be removed from the yard, along with gardening tools, mowers, etc. You can also pare down decorations such as lawn trinkets, signs, or decorative touches. Keep in mind that your aesthetic may not match the next owner’s, so it’s best to keep it classy and simple to attract as many buyers as possible and provide a blank slate.
Simple actions can mean big money
Although curb appeal can be enjoyed while still living in your home, it is particularly effective in enticing potential buyers to take a look inside. And more buyer interest typically results in more offers at higher prices. Take a bit of time to spruce up the front exterior space of your home before listing it — you won’t regret it!
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