It’s usually the curb appeal properties put out there that either plants a winning first impression…or a ho-hum (maybe it’s more interesting inside) reaction. This holds for casual passers-by as well as serious prospects who are pulling up for a scheduled house showing. It’s simply true: you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
If you will be listing your home this summer, adding a thoughtful extra touch or two to the outside can transform your property’s curb appeal into its first strong selling point. After all, what buyer won’t favor a home they’d be proud to have friends and co-workers visit?
Here are some simple and affordable projects—each of which can be started and finished in a single weekend!
Exterior lighting styles are constantly being reinvented, so if it’s been more than five years since the last time you thought about the amount of curb appeal your current fixtures add, this one’s for you! Once the sun goes down, take a look at what passers-by see—and compare it with your neighbors’. Explore the latest fixtures available at area lighting shops and the big-box hardware stores—there are plenty of imaginative new designs. Even consider improving your home’s nighttime sparkle by adding a lighted path from driveway to door.
Your prospective buyers will be favorably impressed when a home’s curb appeal invites them to see themselves as part of the picture. That’s not an abstract notion—investing in a few pieces of attractive, comfortable-looking outdoor furniture and arranging them on the front porch all but compels it! Buyers will automatically picture themselves enjoying a leisurely chat out there…and if the porch layout is right, you might make it extra-inviting with a warm indoor/outdoor rug and some weatherproof decorative pillows.
Extensive flower beds can turn some buyers off if they don’t want the hassle of upkeep—but a few flower pots or window planters look wonderfully inviting when people drive up to the house. Decide if some large pots along the driveway, sidewalk, or entryway would provide color and character; or put up a pair of ready-made window boxes. Filled with easy-maintenance annuals like marigolds, petunias, or impatiens, this simple touch can make a disproportionately effective difference.
Sometimes you don’t have to paint the whole house when you put your house on the market: just spruce up the front door, shutters, or trim. Some sandpaper, a wire brush and modest amount of paint can do the trick. This is a quick and affordable way to add curb appeal to the entire house—a face-lift without spending tons on painters and paint.
Ancient, peeling house numbers on the mailbox or by the front door can destroy curb appeal. Prospects usually spot them first when they search for your address, so save the day with a new mailbox (or just some gleaming new replacement numerals).
Ready to list in 2014? Preparation should start weeks (even months) before the marketing goes live—making for a much less stressful opening weekend. Contact me soon for a preliminary evaluation to get your home ready for the market!