We’ve talked about curb appeal before. A LOT. And there is a reason for it. You can’t sell your home if you can’t get people INTO your home. In our area, the first photo for a listing is required to be the front of the home. And despite what our mothers taught us about judging a book by its cover, generally, we don’t extend the same courtesy to real estate. We see good homes linger on the market because the curb appeal is about as friendly as a horror movie. We also show a lot of “pretty” homes only to find out that their photoshop skills are a lot better than the actual house. So here are 6 real world curb appeal tips.
Let’s stick with the basics. Unless you’ve got a significant issue you already know about, this should be easy and not too expensive.
- Yard Appeal – time to tame that lands
caping! No one really wants to buy a jungle. Make sure the grass is cut/edged, weeds pulled, and leaves removed. Also, a great time to add some fresh accent plants with some color. Fresh mulch also makes everything look fresher! Don’t go crazy, no need to re-landscape your entire yard, but make sure what you have is spruced up. Also, consider trimming back some of the growth if it’s hiding the entrance or looks unrulily.
- Clean up – Time to remove any clutter. Do you have empty/dead planters, kids’ toys, or an old hose snaking through the grass? Time to remove ALL of it. Trash what you can and find a home for out of sight for the rest. Same goes for trash cans and worn out patio furniture in the front of the home. We want to remove anything that could distract from the main attraction, your home.
Face Lift – Unless you just painted your home, it’s going to need some work. If your home is turning that lovely shade of green (like every other home in Florida) it’s time to pressure wash! If the paint isn’t in great shape, see if painting the front is in the budget. Also, a fresh coat of paint on the front door or shutters can make a HUGE impact. Consider making your door color a pop of color to make it memorable. If you have anything worn out or showing it’s age, time to fix it up or replace it. That goes for shutters, window screens, or any wood elements. Remember deferred maintenance isn’t sexy!
Make it inviting – You want people to not only want to SEE your house but once they get there you want them to stay a while. Adding some good old southern charm to your front porch/entrance is the best way to achieve this. Painting the front door is a good start. Matching large planters on either side of your front door is also a great idea. Consider a combination of any of the following: new door mat, new house numbers, a comfortable chair with a cute cushion, a porch swing, new door hardware or new light fixtures.
- Get feedback – You know that friend that WILL tell you if your butt looks big in those jeans? Invite them over to take a look at your progress. It’s easy for all of us to get tunnel vision and not see some glaring opportunities. Best part it’s usually free advice. If you want an impartial opinion ask your real estate agent. 😉 We’re pretty good at this stuff.
- Lighten up – Does your entrance resemble a dark cave? A Black hole? Try adding new lights or brightening up the paint colors to make the property seem more approachable. It might be as simple changing the trim color from muddy brown to a crisp white. Also, consider adding lighting throughout your yard to make your home stand out. But no matter what use a light hand, it’s easy for landscape lighting to look cheap, especially when you’re doing it DIY.
Overall the most important thing with curb appeal: make sure your home looks like it’s being taken care of. If you have deferred maintenance (even if it’s just overgrown flower beds) buyers are going to take notice. So, remember to keep it clean, fresh and well-groomed the entire time you’re on the market. And if you ever need a second opinion, ask your friendly realtor!
Thanks for checking out the first of our Staging Secrets blog series. Check back next week for the next topic!