Easy Ways to Increase Your Home's Curb Appeal

by Amber Bouthot

When it comes to selling your home, first impressions are key—and that begins at the curb. When a prospective buyer pulls up to your home, they should be wowed. This does not mean you must invest in elaborate landscaping, but your home and yard should be well kept and maintained. Of course, these are good tips to keep in mind once you find your dream home, as well. Your neighbors will appreciate that you take care of your yard and home. Here are some inexpensive ways you can spruce up your home’s curb appeal.

POWER WASHING

The exterior of your home, including the roof, should be clean. If you haven’t power washed your siding, doors, and roof in a few years, now is the time to do it. Most home improvement stores allow you to rent power washers, or you can hire a professional who can come and take care of this for you.

Act like a buyer—walk around your house and note any places that are especially dirty and make sure they are cleaned well. According to the National Association of Realtors, power washing your home can add $10,000 to $15,000 to the sale price—making it an inexpensive solution with big impact.

PLANTS/LANDSCAPING

Landscaping costs can quickly escalate, but there are ways you can add some color and life to your home without breaking the bank. Spruce up your front porch or stoop with some plants and flowers in containers. Add flowers to window boxes or your front beds for an instant lift. A few inches of dark mulch will brighten up beds, as well.

If you already have a lot of landscaping, make sure it is trimmed and well-manicured. Overall, the look should be tidy and bright. A well- manicured lawn will welcome prospective buyers and start the tour off on the right foot.

HGTV has some great suggestions for container gardens—the article walks readers through the perfect plants to use and why to use them.

OPEN YOUR CURTAINS

Not only will opening your curtains brighten the inside of your house—and lead to a quicker sale—but it looks better from the street, as well. This is perhaps the least expensive solution for instant curb appeal. While you’re at it, you should be sure that your windows are clean and sparkly so they can let the light in.

TOUCH UP PAINT

Paint is inexpensive, so be sure to touch up – or even repaint—the front door, trim and shutters. Again, take a walk around your house and note any places where the paint is chipping or peeling. Giving those places a good sand and a coat of fresh paint will go a long way in increasing the curb appeal of your home. Remember, your front door is your home’s ambassador—it will either welcome or repel prospective buyers.

REPLACE OLD HARDWARE

Take a close look at your house numbers, entry door lockset, mailbox, and light fixtures. If they’re dingy or dirty, prospective buyers will notice. Consider replacing or cleaning and polishing them so they shine—literally. If buyers are met with things they will need to replace as soon as they step onto your property, your chances of getting the price you want for your home diminish.

There are conflicting stats about the return on investment for landscaping and sprucing up your home’s curb appeal, but most realtors agree: you’ll get more than what you put in when it comes time to sell your home. An article in the Washington Post cited a few examples of a 1000% return on investment, so it’s worth your time and money. 

Again, keep in mind that these tips aren’t just for selling your home—if you maintain your home it shows pride of ownership and increases home values in your neighborhood. It’s a win for everybody when you take care of your home and yard.

Download our home cleaning guide

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