Outstanding Curb Appeal Can Sell Your Home

Make That Home Sale with Curb Appeal

When you sell, curb appeal is the first impression your home will make on a buyer.  Do it right, and you could end up with an offer, just like that! Do it wrong, and a potential buyer may decide not to walk through your front door.  So when evaluating your curb appeal as you prepare to sell your home, be critical because I promise you that buyers will be.

Pretend you are a buyer. Take a look around the outside of your house and yard. Now ask yourself, if you were buying today would the exterior of your home inspire you to take a look inside?  If the answer is anything less than, “I can’t wait to see the inside of this house” then you have a bit of work to do. Here are a few steps that will send your curb appeal rating meter over the top. 

Clean Up

Just as you do inside your home, you should “pick up” in the front and backyard, porch and deck. You want it clean and tidy. Remove any remaining dead leaves, branches, and other debris from the previous season. Oil stains on the driveway or garage should be cleaned up. Organize the garage. Power wash your siding. Clean the gutters. Wash the windows, so the sunshine sparkles off the surface of the glass. Wash all the light fixtures on your house and garage.  Don’t overlook the door knockers and knobs. Polish them up!  

Refresh, Repair or Replace

As you go through the cleanup process, make a note of any items that need attention. Decide if all that is required is a facelift, some rehabilitation or the situation is hopeless and you need to invest in a replacement. Here are some common areas to evaluate and issues you want to address.

  • Check the roof for loose or broken shingles
  • Make sure the flashing isn’t bent, shows gaps or other issues that might lead to leaks
  • Repair or replace torn screens or cracked panes of glass
  • Look for any broken shingles and replace them
  • Inspect wood trim. Replace any that shows signs of rot
  • Repaint trim that is peeling
  • Freshen up your deck with a coat of stain or your porch floor with paint
  • Don’t forget to evaluate the garage doors. Do they open and close properly?
  • If your lighting fixtures are old and unsightly, refurbish or replace them
  • Ditto for door hardware
  • House numbers should be in good condition and easy to read. Replacing them is an inexpensive but noticeable upgrade to consider.
  • Replace the mailbox if it is dented and abused. A new one is a budget-friendly option that buyers will notice


The exterior of your home and the yard is an area where you should focus some attention. As much as I hate to repeat myself, landscaping can make either a positive impression on buyers or turn them off. If that in itself is not enough inspiration for you, about 20% of the value placed on your home comes from landscaping. Enough said right? Here are some suggestions to improve your yard and gardens to get your curb appeal hitting the high notes.

The lawn is an essential element of curb appeal.  Overgrown, weed infested, or sparse with yellow spots are instant turn-offs. You want your yard to be well manicured, lush and green. Keep the grass mowed and edged. Apply fertilizers and weed killer as appropriate to the season. Fill in any dead spots with seed or consider some turf for an instant fix.

Inspect your shrubs and plantings. Trim as appropriate. If you have some dead bushes, get out the shovel and start digging them up. Even an empty spot is preferable to having buyers look at dead plants. No matter how beautiful the rest of your yard may appear, they are going to focus on the one brown or yellowing shrub.

Clean any debris out of the flower beds. Put on your gardening gloves, get out your little hoe and start weeding. We want those areas to look clean and mean. Plant some annuals for spots of color. Spread fresh mulch as the finishing touch.

If you have window boxes, they add a great deal to the curb appeal factor. Plant some flowers for instant color and then stand back and admire your work.

Good job with the landscaping! Feeling inspired to take it to another level? We suggest you check out this post 17 Landscaping Ideas to Increase Property Value. Now, let's move to the final step and stage your porch and patio.

Staging Your Outdoor Space 

Today's families want outdoor living space. Patios, decks, and porches fulfill that desire. They add value to your home and sometimes close the deal with a buyer before they even step in the door and look inside. When you want to impress your buyers, staging the front entrance can say “welcome” in a significant way and bring them another step closer to making an offer.

If you have a front porch, lucky you! They present an outstanding opportunity to stun your potential buyers with a mega dose of charm. It bears repeating here that if the porch floor is worn and scuffed give it a fresh coat of paint. Put a pot overflowing with colorful blooms by the door. Strategically hang some plants around the porch but don't overdo it. Stage a cozy seating area with a small table holding a couple of magazines.  Don’t forget plumb cushions and colorful soft pillows for accents.

On your backyard deck or patio, stage an area for seating and one for dining. If your patio or deck furnishings have seen better days replace it with something you could take with you to your new home.  If you want to spruce up what you have a fresh coat of paint, new cushions and pillows, or a bright new patio umbrella may be just what you need!  Don’t forget the pots and hanging baskets of flowers and plants. To finish off your look consider hanging some garden lights for atmosphere.

A couple of final thoughts for your project. Accentuate the positive. If you have a beautiful private little spot in among your flower beds, strategically place a small bench there. Consider some thoughtfully placed solar garden lights along pathways. However, don’t overcrowd things. Also, keep your landscaping and outdoor staging consistent with the style of your home. For instance, a Victorian garden theme wouldn’t play well around a mid-century modern prairie home. Aim for simplicity and be consistent. If you have any questions about buying a home or any other real estate topic, don’t hesitate to reach out. 

Other posts you may find useful: Stage Your Home To Impress Buyers, Prepare Now To Sell Later

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