The Value of Curb Appeal 

curb appeal

Enhancing your home's "curb appeal" look from a street perspective is a great way to attract potential buyers.

The appearance of your home appeals to people driving through your neighborhood and those who see your home in a real estate for-sale photo.

Putting in a little extra effort can improve your home's curb appeal and increase your chances of an earlier sale and potentially higher price. 

If you live in the home you are trying to sell, you are likely infinitely familiar with its appearance. Therefore, chances are, you don't notice small cracks or peeling paint the same way someone seeing your home for the first time would.

Starting from a position on the street, take a close look at your home.

  • What stands out? 
  • What looks wrong? 
  • Does the tree in front need pruning? 
  • Perhaps a shutter needs to be repainted? 
  • Maybe the porch light fixture is broken.

These are generally small tasks that don't take a lot of time or money to repair but that make – or detract—from the look of your home. It may help to photograph your home from the street to see if that gives you a new perspective.

Here are some areas to consider when sprucing up your home for increased curb appeal and sale:

One. You will have more potential buyers if people can find your house. Your house number should be displayed in a prominent location and illuminated so that it is easy to read. Visibility of your house number is critical in the evening and winter when daylight is limited. If your house sits back a fair distance from the street, consider installing your number on a gate, pillar, or fence post that is easy to see.

Two. The adage that cleanliness is next to godliness applies to your house, too, particularly when you want to sell. The exterior, including eaves troughs, should be neat, clean, and in good repair. Downspouts should have extensions to remove water from the foundation to avoid pooling. It would be best if you corrected any settling of backfill around a house to ensure that the grade at the foundation is higher than in surrounding areas.

Three. A lush green lawn enhances your home. It should be freshly cut, weeded, and edged. Flower beds should be weeded and cultivated, hedges trimmed, and garden debris removed. If your lawn isn't in good shape, it will require time to improve, and professional help may be desirable. Any areas that need new grass should be sodded rather than re-seeded to ensure a finished appearance.

Four. When selling your home during the fall or winter, your yard may need extra attention to look its best. For example, you should rake off all dead material from gardens and leaves the lawn. Also, store shovels and other equipment in a shed or out-of-sight location.

Five. Doors should be unmarred, clean, and repainted with care if necessary. The doorbell and door hardware should be in good repair. Potential purchasers who see a Realtor wrestling with a reluctant door lock may wonder what else is wrong with the house.

Six. When a Realtor opens the door of your home, a potential purchaser has plenty of time to look at the porch and entry. Accordingly, they should be clean and tidy. Do not allow flyers to accumulate; if there is a doormat, it should be clean and in good condition. Decoration such as a tasteful wreath is fine, but don't overwhelm your entry and door with frilly adornments.

Seven. Your garage should be a storage area for automobiles, not miscellaneous articles. It should be clean and tidy to make the best impression, with garden tools hanging neatly on one side or in a storage cabinet. If they can't be stored elsewhere, bicycles, the snow blower, and the lawn mower should be placed so as not to impede movement around the cars. Garbage containers should be empty and clean. Illumination should be bright, ideally with a 150-watt bulb, at least during the listing period.

Eight. The driveway should be degreased and sealed.

Nine. Walkways and patios should be clean and free of cracks. Suppose your walkway or patio has grass or weeds. In that case, you can eliminate them in an environmentally friendly way with boiling water or a propane torch). The driveway, sidewalks, and porch stoop in winter should be cleared of snow and salted if necessary. Inside the front door should be an overshoe tray and a carpeted area where you and visitors can remove overshoes.

Summarily, your home is an investment, and by taking a little time to put it in top form, you will get a higher return on that investment when you decide to sell.

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