If you have been thinking about selling your home, then it’s probably time to boost its curb appeal. Curb appeal is defined by how charming and attractive your home appears from the street – or how appealing it is to buyers solely based on its exterior. Curb appeal is crucial if you are planning to sell your home because first impressions are everything. The exterior of your home may help make the sale, or it may drive buyers away. There are many ways to make your home more aesthetically pleasing; some ideas may require a significant financial investment while others are practically free. If you choose your enhancements wisely, you can sell your home faster and add thousands to its value.
What are the best ways to improve curb appeal?
Curb appeal can be increased by either enhancing the exterior of your house or its landscaping. According to the National Association of Realtors, 63% of buyers will drive by a listing if they like it online. If buyers don’t like the look and feel of the outside at this point, they will never bother to physically step inside your home – no matter how much money you’ve put into renovations or how beautifully it is staged.
When you are ready to work on your home’s saleability, first set a budget. Small projects can quickly add up, and you don’t want to spend money that you won’t recoup when your house is sold. Once you know how much money you’d like to spend, keep in mind that buyers want a solid home. If your house needs major repairs, you must devote funds to those areas first. The goal when prepping your home to sell is to recover your time and money in the sale price, so it’s crucial to invest thoughtfully.
The 10 Best Curb Appeal Investments
- Scan for quick fixes. Walk around your house in daylight and the dark as if you were a buyer. What do you see? Maybe there’s a sagging gutter, a loose shutter, or one of your windows is missing the screen. Make any quick fixes that immediately stand out to you, because those will probably be prominent to potential buyers, too.
- Get a second opinion. As homebuyers, we tend to look past usual wear and tear that we walk by every day. Ask someone to take a look at your home who can see it with fresh eyes. Realtors are great at making curb-appeal recommendations and often know what buyers are currently looking for in the market.
- Look up. How does your roof look? Are there any missing or damaged shingles, streaks, or lots of patches? Nothing scares away buyers like a roof that leaks or looks like it needs to be replaced. While a new roof is a significant investment, you may need one just to reassure potential buyers. Don’t worry: most homeowners recoup more than 80% of their roofing investment upon selling their home.
- Assess your exterior. Does your brick look brittle? Is your siding dirty or damaged? Pressure wash your exterior and fix any areas that need repair. If your siding is old, it may be a good idea to replace it with Hardie board or new vinyl siding. According to Remodeling Magazine, new siding is the second-best investment for increasing curb appeal. Sellers generally see 93% of their siding money reimbursed when they sell their homes.
- Consider new windows. Your windows may just need to be cleaned inside and out to look as good as new. If they are made out of wood or are over 15 to 20 years old, however, there’s a good chance that they need to be replaced. Buyers love new windows because they appreciate the increased energy efficiency and the peace of mind that brand new windows bring. Sellers typically see at least 80% of a new window investment returned.
- Apply a new coat of paint. Paint is inexpensive but it can make a significant impact. If your home needs a fresh coat, just make sure that you paint it a neutral color. Appraisers can actually deduct from your home’s value if the color is odd. Also repaint your trim, shutters, and front door. Reds and blues are always great front door colors, but make sure you follow any rules your Homeowners’ Association may have in place.
- Wash everything. In addition to power washing your exterior, clean off your porch, decking, gutters, and garage doors. A little bit of elbow grease can make your home look brand new.
- Upgrade your mailbox. It may seem silly, but a nice mailbox can sway the way buyers feel about the interior of your home. If your mailbox is falling off, needs paint, or is dirty, buyers will believe that you don’t maintain your home well. A new mailbox and some bright, shiny house numbers will make buyers feel like you take pride in your home.
- Pay attention to details. Opening your shutters, blinds, and shades will make your home look better from the street. It will also help your home look brighter inside when buyers walk through the interior. A new lighting fixture for your front porch and a new welcome mat are also nice touches that buyers will notice.
- Refresh your landscaping. A beautiful yard is always a sound investment. Bring in flowers and fresh mulch, edge around your flower beds and trees, and pull weeds. It’s also a good plan to prune back overgrown trees, shrubs, and vines. Lastly, continue to cut your lawn so that it doesn’t detract from the rest of your landscaping. Many homeowners forget to mow if they’ve already moved, and buyers hate the idea of a house that has been abandoned.
Get the best bang for your buck.
Choose the best options for renewing your home’s appearance based on your budget. A new roof may be more important than a new mailbox and other smaller items, so spend money where it is needed and will make the most impact on buyers. With a little work and some smart planning, your home will have the curb appeal it needs to entice buyers – and find new owners.