I often tell clients that people look at your home based upon curb appeal and then buy what’s pass the front door. Your realtor has probably taken some great photos of the outside of the house (It’s the most important first picture on the listing by the way). Nothing is more disappointing to a prospective buyer than doing a drive by and seeing the home has little to no curb appeal. I tell sellers if the buyers love the outside of the home your almost halfway to an offer. What can you do to help make your home pop? Here are some suggestions for maximizing the curb appeal of your home for sale.
1. The Front Door
The first thing a buyer sees, and touches is the front door of your house. If your door looks dingy and old replace it with a new door. If your newer door is weathered, get it painted. New hardware and especially a keyless lock make a statement too. Make sure the doorbell works too.
2. The Garage Door
Sometimes it’s the first thing potential buyers see when they drive up to your house. If the garage door is dirty, worn, and hanging from a hinge, replace it. A new garage door can help you sell.
3. Wash the Windows
If you don’t do windows, hire someone who does. Clean windows show potential buyers you take good care of your house. Repair or replace any damaged windows and window screens. This attention to detail makes them want to see the inside.
4. How is Your Roof?
This is a big one. Roofs are expensive; buyers know that. But a leaky roof can end up costing even more. Buyers always, always ask their agents how old the roof is. If you can replace it, it’s the right thing to do and always helps sell the home. If you can’t replace it, have a roofer patch spots that show wear and save the work order. It’s best to get any repairs for this big-ticket item done before you sell or list the home.
5. Clean the gutters
If your gutters resemble potted plants, it’s time to clean them. If they hang lower than the roofline, reattach them. A cluttered gutter signals to potential buyers that you’ve given up, and they likely will, too. Painting gutters and fixing any leaks, making sure any downspouts are functional and attached. Check the drains and make sure they are clean. Buyers are drawn to a house that is loved and maintained.
6. Paint the exterior
New paint always makes a house pop (unless its safety orange). Stay safe with the color. If you can’t afford to paint, consider power washing the exterior. Another approach is having the entry area repainted since it makes a good impression on the buyers when they come to the front door.
7. Do the Yardwork
Mow the lawn, do the edging, trim the hedges, plant flowers and trim trees. A well maintain yard matters and no one want to buy a landscaping project. If it’s a lot of work to get it right, ask your realtor or friends to recommend a landscaper or yard maintenance company to get it ready in a day or two. Its money well spent.
8. Power wash the walkways/porch/courtyard/deck
A well-maintained home will sell itself. Making your home appear well maintain helps buyers focus on living in your home not all the work they need to do after they buy it.
9. Leave the lights on
Leave the outdoor lights on into the evening (9PM local time). The lights on the front facing rooms help as well as outdoor walkway and landscaping lights. Make the house look as good at night as it does during the day, then watch (from a distance) as buyers line up to attend your first open house.
Pro Tip: Don’t be overwhelmed by the work to make the home’s curb appeal shine. Look at your home like a buyer and do what you can to show your home in the best way possible. If you think it needs addressing, it surely will matter to the next owner. Buyers aren’t afraid of updating and making your home their home after they buy. However, they want to know you were a good owner and took care of the home.