According to a study by Realtor magazine, homes with a smart and appealing exterior can sell on average for 7% more than those that need some TLC and updating.A good first impression can also make or break a viewing for a buyer from the get-go. So what are the basics to ensuring your home isn’t overlooked from the start?
Maintenance of the Grass and Yard
It goes without saying, the front yard is the first impression buyers’ will get and it takes seconds for them to form a judgment on whether the homeowner is someone that looks after their property; if the grass is too high and the flowerbeds full of weeds, they could assume the interior is not worth a look either.
Lawns and edgings should be lush and trimmed, flowerbeds tidy and free from weeds and larger trees and bushes neatly pruned so as not to block light or interesting details. In the summer, be sure to declutter and put away any furniture and garden equipment that isn’t being used.
One of the best ways to add instant appeal to the yard is to create definition and by this we mean putting in borders between the lawn and plant beds to stop the grass encroaching into the flowers and adding in coloured mulch or bark to the flower beds which makes the individual plant stand out more and prevents weeds coming back too quickly.
Any broken or peeling fences and cracking driveways should also be taken care of to attract those aspirational buyers looking for a fresh, move-in ready yard. A coat of paint on wooden fences will make all the difference, as will a filling and resealing of the driveway asphalt.
Maintenance shouldn’t be neglected in the winter either. It’s just as important to keep driveways and walkways free of snow and ice, both for safety and to show that you care for the property whatever the season.
Make it Homely & Welcoming
There are so many ways to make the exterior feel more inviting as a prospective buyer drives up. Firstly, a nice set of house numbers or a house name plate shows an instant sense of pride - ensure these are easily seen from the road and are clean and free from rust.
Careful placement of planters on the front porch, featuring bright flowers in the spring and summer and evergreens in winter won’t go unnoticed and helps buyers’ to envision the property as home. You can vary the size of container plants and place them on different levels for an inexpensive and inviting softness to the front porch area. In a townhome or condo property, window boxes filled with overflowing flowers, can bring life to an otherwise grey exterior.
A tasteful doormat, seasonal door wreath and an entrance sign at the front door are all welcoming signs and touches that say that you love living there. These personal touches also demonstrate how a buyer might put their stamp onto the outside of the home.
Adding a pop of colour is another way to make it more inviting. Whether it’s a nice piece of outdoor furniture or bright rug that complements the home’s exterior, or a colour update to the front or garage door, this is an easy way to boost curb appeal. Fences and siding are also prime positions for adding a little colour with carefully selected outdoor decor pieces and art.
Go the Extra Mile for Pristine Clean
It’s not just the interior that needs to gleam, you’ll need to be just as meticulous with the outside to give a good feeling. Walls should be cleaned and any siding washed with soapy water and windows need to sparkle both inside and out.
If you have older style, heritage wooden windows, make sure they’re damage free and have them repainted if necessary.
For large outdoor surfaces like decking, driveways and siding, it’s worthwhile taking time to power wash to make them look new again before going ahead with showings.
Don’t overlook the higher points either; buyers will be looking at the roof so clean up those eavestroughs, clear them of any debris and add a new lick of paint if needed. Also pay attention to any loose or damaged shingles and stains on the roof from overhanging greenery.
Light the Way
Lighting can make a difference all year round. Pot lights really add warmth to the exterior for a winter or evening showing but you can add lighting easily without them. If you have any porch wall lights, make sure they’re clean and in working order. If they’re very outdated, it might be time to update with something a bit more modern and fitting. For a brick walled home, you might be able to pick up something a little more vintage from a local antique store for a more rustic feel. Lighting up the path to the front door by placing lights along the side of the walkway is another simple way to define the front yard.
There are many LED light options now that will make the house more inviting yet won’t require any intrusive and expensive electrical work and you can even use string lights around a front porch seating area to show off a relaxing seating area.
The opposite of uplighting (using lighting to shine upwards on a yard feature) is moon lighting which involves putting light fixtures high up in trees to create a soft, silvery light shining down that mimics the moon. Lots of commercial properties use this technique to enhance the natural beauty of a property and create wistful, romantic spaces and buyers are sure to see its appeal too.
Need help Boosting Your Home’s Curb Appeal?
These are just some of the ways you can boost the chances of a buyer falling in love with your house from the sidewalk. Enhancements to the front exterior can range from a few dollars to thousands. An experienced realtor will be able to advise which improvements will most benefit in terms of maximizing your sale price.
If you need some help finding and selecting contractors that can help you implement any of these things, reach out for recommendations on reputable and experienced local businesses.