When you’re ready to put your home on the market, one of the most important things you can do is enhance the curb appeal. According to the National Association of Realtors, half of all homeowners choose their house based on its exterior appearance, and exterior projects — such as a steel entry door and replacement windows — recoup the most value on resale.
But why is curb appeal so important? After all, people spend most of their time living inside the home.
Most home buyers are looking at prospective houses as potential homes, not real estate investments. And what make a house a home is the perception of comfort, safety, and pride. A house that looks well-kept, secure, and visually pleasing from the outside invites buyers to look inside because they can already visualize this property as their home. Thus, curb appeal has a powerful psychological effect that you can use to your advantage if you follow some of these tips.
Freshen Your Landscaping
Just as staging the inside of a house involves decluttering and removing eclectic design features, so does landscaping for resale mean creating a yard that is clean and appealing to the majority of buyers. There is probably a family out there who would be delighted to have vegetable gardens in the front, for instance, but to the majority of people, this will be visually unappealing and signify too much work.
The landscaping that has the best impact is clean, symmetrical, and stress free.
- Choose native trees and shrubs when you can so that your Realtor can point out the lower cost of upkeep.
- Make sure beds are freshly mulched (a dark color has more appeal), neatly edged, and free of weeds.
- Make sure that your turf grass is getting the required one inch of water per week.
- Repair any damage to the hardscaping and walkways.
Mass plantings of the same specimen create a harmonious effect, but you can also wow prospective buyers with a pop of color. Consider a bed of glowing narcissus, colorful azaleas, or hanging potted plants.
Create the Illusion of a Maintenance Free Home
Prospective home buyers want to visualize rest and relaxation, not an endless series of home improvement projects. Now is the time to repair sagging gutters, have your roof shingled or professionally cleaned to remove moss and debris, replace that broken screen door, freshen any peeling paint, and repair fencing.
Make sure that your windows are sparkling clean — you can remove the screens to make them pop — and that, at the very least, you’ve put a fresh coat of paint on the front door.
Consider remodeling your front porch, especially if its design is dated or not in keeping with the architectural style of the house. Although porches do not have the same resale value as front doors and replacement windows, the boost to the curb appeal of the house may result in a quicker sale or multiple offers. An experienced design consultant can let you know if such a project would be worthwhile.
Make Your Home Picture Perfect
Almost 90 percent of buyers are checking real estate inventory online before narrowing down their selection. That means a lot is riding on the photo you’ve selected to make your first impression with.
Cloudy days or late afternoon sun give your photo the best resolution, without any glare or halo effect. Walk around the front of the house and take photos from every angle so that you can choose the one that captures your place best.
Though it might seem strange to invest time and money in the exterior of your house right before you leave it, enhancing your curb appeal is one of the best ways to make sure your home gets the most attention from prospective buyers. Ultimately, great curb appeal can lead to a faster sale and higher asking price.