If you’re expecting to put your house on the market sometime in the next year, you need to pay attention to its curb appeal. “Curb appeal” refers to everything prospective buyers see as they drive up to your home. It includes the street, your yard, the front of your home, your porch, your garage and even your mailbox.
If buyers don’t like what they see from the curb, they are very likely to beat a fast retreat. They may politely tour your home, but as they drive away, they may be discussing the shabby paint or an overgrown lawn. You can lose a sale quite easily if you don’t have good curb appeal and if the outside of your home doesn’t look as good as the inside.
Good curb appeal can also raise the selling price. The amount it adds is hard to quantify because it generally depends on what aspect of curb appeal is being talked about and how much work and expenditure is required to maintain or improve it.
It also depends on the price of the house, of course. But you can depend on enhanced curb appeal raising the asking price by anywhere from 5 per cent to 100 per cent.
Finally, superior curb appeal can make a house sell faster. This is ideal if you’re moving for a new job or some other circumstance that makes it imperative to sell the house by a certain date.
So, how you can you beautify the outside of your home to realise all these benefits? Here are seven ideas.
1. Power wash the exterior
Cleanliness is one of the most crucial factors in curb appeal. A dirty home exterior, windows or siding will kill a sale. Either rent a power washer or hire someone to do it. Don’t stop at the home itself, of course. Walkways, porches, outside furniture, decks and patios all need to be included.
2. Replace anything that needs replacing
Almost every part of a home or yard will need replacing eventually. Roofs, garage doors, screens, patios, even lawn resodding — at some point a new version needs to take over. If prospective buyers see you need a new roof or a new garage door, they may back away or ask you to reduce your sale price by the amount it would cost them to replace.
In addition, if these items look old or shabby, it may turn buyers off. So, if it’s time to replace a roof or install a new garage door, do it before buyers come.
3. Maintain everything for top condition
This is good advice always, but it’s especially important when company, in the form of potential buyers, comes calling. Sagging gutters, weeds in a lawn, cracks in a patio and more can turn a buyer away. It’s prudent to go around with a checklist several months before you plan to sell. Do this for everything that’s outside – from gazebos to the kids’ croquet set – andmake sure it’s all in tip-top shape.
4. Keep the lawn in shape
Your lawn needs to look good. Mulch the garden so it’s nice and green. Mow so it’s well-tended. Edge so it looks sharp and well-pruned. Get rid of weeds. Do not try a new fertiliser right before sale time. Sometimes fertilisers can leave yellowish spots and you don’t want that to happen when prospective buyers are slated to be looking at it in two day’s time.
If you have a garden and it’s flower season, beautify your yard by adding some flowers in an accent colour. Some red tulips, for example, are eye-catching and make your home look well-tended to. Make sure the flowers are healthy and insect free. Another great idea is to place potted flowers or flowering plants on either side of your front door so that guests can make a grand entrance.
6. Paint or retouch
Needless to say, shabby or even peeling paint is not going to cut it with any future buyers. Look at the exterior of your home with a critical eye. Look at shutters, trim, furniture, doors and the outside of windows. What would you think if you were strolling up the walk for the first time?
If it looks less than stellar, you need to repaint. Be sure to choose neutral colours; anything unusual could turn some buyers off.
7. Add an upscale mailbox
Upgraded mailboxes are inexpensive and can make your home look very special. It’s a focal point that can be impressive to prospective buyers. Be sure to harmonize with the general style of your house and don’t choose anything that might not be to someone’s taste. Just a few steps up from your current style should do it.
Curb appeal is an essential part of selling a home. It can add to the selling price and make sure the house moves as fast as possible. These seven ways of beautifying your home will ensure your curb appeal entices buyers and doesn’t cause them to cross you off their list.