A first impression of your home starts as a guest or buyer drives up. They see the lawn, the driveway, the mailbox. As they wait at the front door to be let in, they will have time to admire everything in the entryway – the door itself, the house numbers, the front steps, the light fixtures, the garden. The quality of care of these features reflects the owner and what to expect inside the house. If you are selling a house, this is a particularly crucial part of staging! There are many buyers who will literally skip even going inside a house if they don’t like the way it looks on the outside. Curb appeal can be key to a successful sale!
With that in mind, here are some of the most helpful tips for maximizing curb appeal:
1. Make repairs and touch-up paint in the entry way. Start at the end of your driveway and do an evaluation of your home. Take a walk-through from your mailbox all the way to the front door. What do you see that has seen better days? If your mailbox is rusted, bent, or just dingy-looking, repair it if possible and freshen it up with a coat of paint. For an even easier option, consider swapping it out with a brand new one. Polish or replace house numbers. Clean up or replace any outdoor light fixtures. If the front steps or porch (including railings) look bad, make any necessary repairs and spruce them up with paint, staining, or other options depending upon the materials. Touch-up the front door and siding (if applicable) with fresh paint.
2. Pressure wash your house and driveway. If your house and/or driveway looks stained from dirt and mold, consider having it pressure washed. A pressure washer is a high pressure mechanical sprayer that can be used to remove loose paint, mold, grime, dust, mud, and dirt from surfaces and objects such as buildings, vehicles, concrete surfaces, etc. (Wikipedia) You can hire a local company to do this for you or you can rent a pressure washer from places such as Home Depot and Lowes to do it yourself. You’d be amazed by how big a difference a good cleaning can make to curb appeal!
3. Clean up the lawn and garden areas. Landscaping is crucial to curb appeal, but you don’t have to spend thousands to make it look nice. A small investment like putting down mulch, resetting stone or bricks that border gardens, cleaning out weeds and dead plants, and planting some fresh flowers can breathe new life into curb appeal. It’s also important to trim back branches that are obscuring your home from view because it’s hard to sell a house that no one can really see!
4. Clean out or replace gutter systems. Many home owners forget about the gutter systems, but this is something that buyers and home inspectors will look at. Make sure they are cleaned out. If they are falling apart or rusting, a complete replacement might be in order. Exercise good judgment and remember that every investment in the curb appeal and staging of your home is an investment in a faster sale with more profit to you.
5. Bring in color and symmetry to front door decor. To create a more inviting entry way, add a pop of color through fresh flowers, lanterns, welcome mat, wreath, plant pots or by painting your front door in a color such as red or blue. Use symmetry when arranging decor around your front door to keep things simple and pleasing for all buyers. (Example: A topiary on either side of the door.) A symmetrical arrangement will also help draw buyers’ eyes to the front door (which we want to make sure they are excited to walk through!)
Hope these tips have inspired you to take a second look at your curb appeal and give it some love. Good luck!
Photos courtesy of Houzz.com