A good-looking face isn’t just memorable – in real estate, an attractive exterior can make or break a home sale. We asked home professionals for their best tips on creating a sparkling outside that beckons potential buyers inside.
Why Curb Appeal Matters
First impressions are everything – at least when it comes to selling your home. According to the National Association of Realtors, 63 percent of homebuyers will drop by after viewing a home they like online. What will they see? The home’s exterior – including the front entry, yard, driveway and sidewalk — should serve as a snapshot of what’s to come when potential buyers enter your home.
Curb Appeal Starts Online
Since 88 percent of homebuyers begin the process on the Web, fabulous photos are critical to getting homebuyers to the front door. Find the best time of day to shoot each room, avoiding too much sunlight, which will give the photo a glow effect,” Jennifer advises. “Overcast days are often the best time for a photo shoot. Take a digital shot and examine it as if you were a buyer, and get rid of extras – bikes on the front porch, platters stacked on top of the fridge – that don’t show your home at its best.
Act Like a Buyer
Walk around your entire home’s exterior with a critical eye and a notepad and pen. Take notes on what looks “off” and needs repairing, replacing or cleaning. Get in your car and drive by slowly from both directions during the day and night. You might see something you’ve never noticed before, like a Frisbee on the roof or a missing piece of siding.
Look Up to the Sky
Most homeowners don’t give their roofs a second glance, but the roof is an important curb appeal item that buyers do notice. Is yours missing any shingles, or is it dingy and streaked? A good cleaning or, if necessary, a roof replacement will up your home’s curb appeal factor tremendously.
Get a Second Opinion
Homeowners often get used to certain defects –chipped paint on the front door from the keys banging against it, cobwebs on the porch ceiling, cracked or stained steps – and might need a new set of eyes to help them prioritize what needs to be fixed and cleaned up. Know your budget and how much time you can spend, and get an outsider to help you decide what needs work.
Plant Some Color
Except for the dead of winter, some types of annual plants are always in bloom. Spruce up your porch containers, window boxes and front beds with some colorful flowers for instant lift. Never plant artificial flowers – a few inches of dark mulch will brighten up the beds without screaming “fake.”
Add Some Polish
Paint is only about $25 per gallon, and painting the front door, trim and shutters is a great way to polish the look of your home. Other inexpensive fix-ups: a new mailbox (research your city’s regulations to make sure you’re up to code first), a new porch light fixture and a cheery new welcome mat.