One of the very first things to think about before putting your house on the market is your curb appeal. You have a very short time (7 to 15 seconds) to grab the interest of your potential buyers so curb appeal is a must. We aren’t talking a massive face-lift, like new siding; there are plenty of ways to improve the look of your home that are budget friendly.
1. Update your paint! Make sure your home is freshly painted in current colors. Check with your HOA for any regulations on approved color pallets. A 3-color pallet provides for a nice, classy look. Use your main color on the bulk of the house, the second color on the trim around the doors and windows and the third, accent color, on the trim at roof level. Remember, no shocking, or loud colors please. Colors that are too bright can scare off potential buyers. I recommend asking for assistance in choosing colors at your local paint or hardware store. Sometimes what looks good on a small swatch of color looks overwhelming on an entire house.
2. Paint the Front Door. Paint your front door an eye-catching color. Red doors are popular today or, if that doesn’t work for you or your house color, try some great accent colors like sage green, black or dark blue.
3. De-clutter your Yard. Remove those deck shoes, kids’ toys, gardening tools and folding lawn chairs from the yard and front porch. If you have lawn furniture, ensure that it looks like it belongs the space and gives the potential buyers an idea of how they can use the space. If it is wood furniture, ensure that it too is freshly painted or stained.
4. Update your Landscaping. Your yard should look its very best. Keep the grass mowed, trimmed, weeded and watered. Take a look at your garden areas (or lack thereof). Ensure you have a border that visually defines the garden area in your front yard. Is the defined space free of all weeds, stray grass, leaves and any dead vegetation? If you have a flower garden, fill in any sparse or bare areas with new flowers or decorative grasses. This is especially important in the spring. People are tired of dead plants and dead lawns and are looking forward to the vibrant colors of spring and summer.
If you don’t yet have any type of garden area, you might think about creating a small rock garden or Xeriscape garden. When making your garden, first define the space with a pleasing border. This can be landscape blocks, wood or garden trim. Lay landscape fabric in the area to be rocked or mulched and secure it in place with pegs (or stakes). Cover the area with decorative gravel, river cobbles or decorative mulch. To add interest, leave spaces for either some nice xeriscape plants (like yucca or decorative grasses) or place colorful planters with LOTS of pansies and/or petunias (good in cool seasons too).
Add mulch to those tired looking mulched areas. Organic mulches that are dyed can add a great wow factor if the color is still vibrant.
5. Update your Deck. Power wash and, if necessary, stain your deck. A deck can be an added factor if it looks good. Arrange any outdoor furniture as a cozy, inviting conversation area. Help your potential buyer visualize themselves enjoying that outdoor space with family and friends!
6. Update those Fixtures. Take a look at both the hardware on your exterior doors as well as the outdoor lighting. Making sure the hardware on your front door is in working order keeps that great first impression. New exterior light fixtures aren’t very expensive and can give the impression that your home is updated and current. Additionally, they’ll also cast a brighter light for evening drive-bys by potential buyers.
7. Replace your House Numbers. Give your house numbers a face-lift by using updated and stylish house numbers. Art deco, cursive or modern sans serif are a great way to add pizzazz plus they help potential buyers to easily find the house.