10 Steps to Great Home Curb Appeal
Now that you have de-cluttered, depersonalized, and refreshed the interior of your house as you prepare to list it for sale, let's continue the process on the outside. I cannot over-emphasize how important a role curb appeal can play in the sale of your home. It is that all-important first impression and the only appearance that matters at times. Potential buyers may decide not to buy your house in those first few seconds. No matter how good the interior may be, they have judged your home in those critical first few seconds. It's most important to make people feel safe, warm, and welcome as they approach your home. Let's look at ten ways to wow them on that first critical look.
Trim shrubs and trees. If you have dead or dying shrubs, replace them. Compare your landscaping to other homes in the area to see if it is comparable. If it is not, consider planting some shrubbery. Shrubs are a better choice than trees since immature specimens do little to enhance the landscaping and mature trees are very expensive. If you currently have no flowers, plant some. Choose annuals since they will bloom all season and make your yard bright and cheerful.
2. The Lawn
Mow, trim and edge the lawn. The grass should be green and free of brown spots, so you must keep it watered. If you have any weeds, pull them or use a commercial weed killer. Always rake the loose leaves and grass clippings. Make sure no tools or equipment are lying around. If buyers see a mess in your yard, they'll probably take that as an indication of what else may await them inside.
3. Flower Beds
Remove all dead leaves and cut back any flowers past their bloom. Refresh your mulch if necessary. Fill in empty spots with mature annuals for instant color and long blooms. This will go a long way towards brightening up your yard and your home's appearance.
4. The Outback
The backyard is essential too. It should be tidy and welcoming. If you have pets make sure you pick up all the "debris." If you have a pool or other water feature, ensure it is clean and constantly maintained. If you have swings or other backyard toys for children, you might want to take them down in, tiny yard. Like the inside of the home, you want to de-clutter the yard to make it appear spacious. Do you have a deck or patio? Sweep off any yard debris. Power wash it. Paint or stain as necessary. Remove children's toys and any other clutter. A nice set of patio furniture here and a few flower pots would look great but don't overdo it.
Make sure walks are swept and clean of debris. Consider adding a brick or stone walkway to the front door to boost your home's curb appeal. If you have concrete walks that are chipped or broken, repair them. The same goes for concrete steps if you have them. Solar lighting illuminating flower beds and walkways are another inexpensive way to create a warm and welcoming ambiance.
6. The Front Door and Porch
The front door welcomes visitors into your home and should be in tip-top condition. Paint your front door, or better yet, if it is worn and faded, replace it. That goes for the storm door as well. Polish the fixtures until they gleam. Better yet, replace them. Make sure the doorknob and the lock work seamlessly. Struggling with the lock when your home is being shown to prospective buyers does not make a good impression. If you have a plaque with your family name, remove it – remember we want to depersonalize. Consider replacing your house numbers with shiny new ones and replacing the doormat as well. Add a pot of flowers by the door.
Nothing says welcome like a front porch. It's a great selling point. Let's make it a wow front porch! Paint it. It is an outdoor living space, so de-clutter. Have some seating and a table but don't overdue. Replace the cushions on your furniture with brightly colored new ones. Hang a couple of flowering baskets and a pot or two blooms by the entrance. Keep the porch well-lit in the evenings. Could you keep it clean and tidy?
7. The Fence
If you have fencing make sure it is in good repair. If it's a wooden fence, replace and broken parts. Brighten it up with a coat of neutral paint. White is an excellent choice for making it look sparkling and bright!
8. The Windows
Make sure they are washed and clean. Repair any broken or cracked glass and repair any torn or loose screens. If you have shutters, make sure they are in good repair and paint them. Match or coordinate with the color of the front door.
9. Paint the House?
The big decision is to paint or not to paint. Take a look at your house from across the street. If it looks tired and faded, painting might be a good investment concerning the offer you get from a buyer. Maybe the siding is in good condition, but you need to paint the trim. When painting, choose a neutral siding color, goes with the style of your home and fits in with the neighborhood. If you opt not to paint, have your home power washed.
10. The Roof and Gutters
If the roof is old and leaky, you will have to replace it. If you don't, you will be required to disclose its condition, and the buyers will want it replaced anyway. Have the roof checked and replace any damaged or missing shingles. Please make sure the gutters are cleaned and water flows through them quickly.
After completing these ten steps, your home is going to look fantastic! You are almost finished preparing your home for sale. Next, we will go back inside and deep clean the interior of your home. When you have completed all the steps inside and out, your home will be in a position to sell quickly and at the best price!