A large percentage of home buyers decide whether or not to look inside a house based on its curb appeal or exterior appearance. What they see when they drive by or arrive for a showing sets an immediate impression and often determines if they want to come inside.
First, You Have to Get Detached
We are all proud of our homes, but when you are getting ready to sell it, you must try to detach yourself from the home and remember this is going to be a business transaction. Try to look at your house in the same way a potential home buyer may.
The next time you come home, stop across the street or far enough down the driveway to get a good view of the house and its surroundings.
- What is your first impression of the house and yard area?
- What are the best exterior features of the house or lot? How can you enhance them?
- What are the worst exterior features of the house or lot? How can you minimize or improve them?
- Park where a potential buyer would and walk towards the house, looking around you as if it were your first visit. Is the path clean and tidy?
- Start making a list of your positive and negative feelings about the property’s appearance.
- Take photos of the home’s exterior. If you have a digital camera, view the color versions first, then switch the photos to greyscale, because it’s easier to see problems when color isn’t present to affect our senses.
In the evening and the weekend do a driveby on the house again. Stop across the street, as you did before.
Lighting is Always a Plus
- String low voltage lighting along your drive way, sidewalks, and around landscaping elements.
- Add a decorative street lamp or an attractive light fixture to a front porch.
- Solar versions of outdoor lights are quick and easy to install, but only work when they receive full sun each day.
- Lighting that’s visible through front windows should enhance the home’s appearance.
Don’t Forget the Rear View
Buyers doing a drive by will try their best to see your back yard. If it’s visible from another street or from someone’s driveway, it should be addressed as well.
Curb Appeal Starters
- Kill mold and mildew on the house, sidewalks, roof, or driveway.
- Pressure wash siding and decks.
- Keep sidewalks and driveways clean.
- Stow away unnecessary garden implements and tools.
- Clean the windows and gutters.
- Mow the lawn regularly. Get rid of weeds.
- Rake and dispose of leaves, even if your lot is wooded.
- Edge sidewalks.
- Trim tree limbs that are near or touching the roof.
- If you can budget it, a fresh paint job does wonders.
- A more attractive front door…or replace doorknob hardware…or repaint /stain the door and polish the hardware?