If you are selling your house, or just thinking about it, consider how it looks when you first drive up to it. This could determine whether prospective buyers will consider looking at it.
Buyers may see the house on the Internet (more than 75 percent do!) or hear about it from their real estate agent — and then decide to drive by. What they see during that initial, often fleeting, look often makes a significant impression.
“Curb appeal” is the phrase realtors use to describe how welcoming a house looks from the sidewalk, road, or driveway. To insure that your house attracts the most buyers, we have assembled some easy ways to improve this appeal.
Take a Long, Hard Look
It’s only human to get used to how something looks when you see it everyday. You may not notice the chipped paint, overgrown shrubbery, or rusty gutters that greet everyone who walks up to your front door.
Because of this, look at your house with “new eyes.”
Walk down the block or park across the street and really gaze at the house. Make a list of its charms, strengths, and faults. Be brutally honest. It’s also a good idea to ask a friend, neighbor, or your real estate agent to do the same.
Go Back for Another Look
Assess your house’s curb appeal in broad daylight and also at dusk. Many buyers drive by houses in the evening, on their way home from work. How does yours look with the porch light on?
A house that looks loved and cared for appeals to everyone. Neglect is a turn off.
Small Changes; Big Difference
Here are some obvious but meaningful things that will make a big difference:
- Brighten lights and replace burned out bulbs.
- Add new light fixtures.
- Wash the windows so that they sparkle.
- Polish any brass fittings on the door. If you can, replace them with shiny new fixtures.
- Replace the mailbox.
- Clean the gutters.
- Replace sagging gutters.
- Paint the porch trim and/or the front door.
- Replace missing boards on the porch or deck.
- Paint the deck.
- Repair hand railings.
- Replace the front door. A handsome, well-made wood door makes a big difference.
- Mow the lawn; pull weeds.
- Seed the lawn or add some turf.
- Trim bushes so that the front of the house is visible.
- Cut any tree limbs that touch or overhang the house.
- Mulch shrubbery beds to mitigate weeds.
- Plant large planters with colorful flowers.
- Fill window boxes with bright flowers and greenery.
- Create a small garden around a birdbath.
- Fill gaps in garden beds with colorful or white annual flowers such as impaciens.
- Edge garden beds and along pathways.