If you're selling your home right now, it’s more important than ever to make sure it’s visual appeal is high, with less people physically visiting open houses and opting for photos and video tours that rely on visual impact. And as we get into the height of the summer homebuying season, you’ll want your home to stand out and get you the best deal. And if your home gives a good first impression, buyers will want to see what’s on the inside.
Changes you can make in a day
Replace old hardware. Light fixtures, address numbers, door fixtures, and mailboxes are all features that can make such a difference if they’re old and dingy or shiny and new. These elements often work together, so consider looking for similar looks and finishes to bring cohesion to your home’s exterior aesthetic.
Add window boxes. Flowers make everyone happy and everything look brighter and more alive instantly. Try building your own or purchasing one made of copper for a more finished or traditional look. Mix and match flowers and plants to match the season and your home’s color scheme.
Liven up your front door. Have you ever driven down a street and noticed “that house with the red door”? Painting your front door a fun, bright, or contrasting color does a lot to turn heads. If it works with your home’s style, go bold with a bright blue, red, or yellow, or try black for classy contrast! Don’t need to paint it? Add a seasonal wreath to bring some character to your front porch.
Add outdoor seating. Spaces always look more appealing to potential buyers when they can imagine themselves living there. Stark, empty spaces don’t inspire much excitement for a future life at that home. But adding things like front porch benches or rocking chairs will give buyers an idea of what it could be like if they lived there, sipping iced tea out front!
Tidy up and clean up. This one’s simple (and free!), but easily overlooked. Buyers don’t want to see your garbage and recycling containers, so store them on the side of your home or behind a fence or bush. Put away any toys or bikes if you know people will be coming by to look at your home. Power wash your driveway and deck, this will actually make a big difference if you have built up dirt and oil stains. Give your windows a wash, too! Really make them sparkle and they’ll gleam for passers by.
Create an outdoor garden. Just like window boxes, greenery automatically livens up any space. Create a box vegetable garden, add drought tolerant plants, or plant perennials around your mailbox (a place in your home where your eye naturally goes!) Strategically place box gardens near windows, or plant flowers along a walkway to infuse your front yard with a pop of color. If you already have plants in your front yard, give what you have a facelift by pulling weeds, cleaning up edges, replanting dead plants, etc.
Add shutters or accent trim. Bright, clean shutters and trim add a clean and finished visual element to the exterior of your home. Shutters not only aid in cooling your home by blocking light, but provide security as well, which could be a good selling point for your home. If you don’t need new trim, consider giving the paint a refresh (it’s truly amazing what paint can do to revive a home!)
Replace gutters and downspouts. Rusty, clogged, or decrepit gutters on a home can convey a sense of neglect. Replace old gutters with newer, snap-fit vinyl gutter systems that assemble easily and don’t require painting.
Welcome neighbors with a fence or arbor. Short gates, a gated archway, and decorate fence panels enhance the landscaping and curb appeal of your home. They’re also a great canvas for plants (think trailing vines or climbing plants) and flowers. You can often find systems that are pre-fabricated and easily snap together. If you’re going with wood, make sure you stain it to match your home.
Changes you can make in a month
Exterior paint and refresh. Give the exterior a refresh with a new exterior paint job, siding, and trim details. This will automatically transform the exterior of your home. Maintaining these elements of your home periodically will help to keep your home in good shape and looking great. Any defects like rot, broken railing or steps, can quickly deter potential buyers. Once you fix these issues, make sure all that work wasn’t wasted by putting the finishing touches of a new paint job on your home!
Tile your walkway and doorstep. Create a permanent welcome mat by literally creating a beautiful, finished path to the front door with tiles, rocks, or bricks. Or create a contoured walkway in place of a straight, concrete way, to give it some more character. You can add a concrete resurfacer to an existing walkway to brighten it up, or add a brick or stone border to add a little extra something to an already existing pathway.
Remember, first impressions are everything, so if you want to make sure your house is marketable, invest in a few projects to make your home really shine. Go outside and literally take a good look at your home from across the street and make note of what you see. You may find things you didn’t realize were unkept or in need of some attention. Gain some new perspective and your house will be curb ready in no time!