“You never get a second chance at a first impression.” Or at least that’s how the old saying goes. It’s just as true when you’re selling your house: a potential buyer will make a snap judgment based on the exterior of your home as they pull up. Your home was an investment, and you want to make sure you get what it’s worth or higher, so don’t get lowballed or miss out on a potential sale just because you didn’t put the same attention to detail into your curb appeal as your interior. There are a number of things you can do to add curb appeal to your house for all budget ranges.
Prioritize & Budget
How much do you want to spend on fixing up your home’s exterior to sell it? Make sure to take note of major eyesores and prioritize them in your budget. This includes anything that needs repair or replacing or anything that’s just plain ugly. These are things like mismatched lighting fixtures, rusted house numbers, or a visible air conditioning unit. This also means anything in disrepair or a potential hazard, like a broken-up walkway. Only after those are accounted for should you consider other small upgrades that can give your house’s exterior a serious facelift.
Lawn & Garden
A well-manicured lawn is essential to curb appeal. Mow the lawn, but don’t stop there. Add a fresh layer of mulch to any area to keep weeds at bay and add a visually pleasing contrast to your lawn. Bring in some plants and flowers, both in the ground and in planters, to add color and curb appeal. This is an important step and can vary in cost based on the size of your lawn and whether you decide to do the yard work yourself or hire a professional.
Fresh Coat of Paint
A quick fix that can go a long way is a fresh coat of paint. If the exterior paint job is still in good shape, you can still add visual interest by painting the front door. A uniquely-colored front door is an inviting accent that sets the tone for the rest of the home tour. Other areas that could use some fresh paint include the garage door (stick to a neutral color that matches your siding), outdoor furniture (give old furniture new life with spray paint), or trim and shutters (keep them consistent).
You know to keep your interior clean and in good repair for the open house, so make sure to do the same for the exterior. Whacky lawn ornaments, kids’ toys and bicycles, or too many cars should all be packed away in the garage when you’re trying to sell. Give your siding, porch, and walkway a good powerwash for an instant facelift, and remove any leaves and branches from the gutters.
There are any number of little fixes that can enhance your house’s curb appeal when selling. The important thing is to take care of the major problems and projects first and set a budget. Keep it clean, freshen up the lawn and garden, and use paint to make it pop. Your house was a huge investment and you want to see a high return – and you want the next owner to feel good about their investment, too.