When it comes to putting your property on the market, one of the key ingredients to a quick and profitable sale is curb appeal.
Why is curb appeal so important?
Buyers and renters look with their eyes but their brain is along for the ride too. Great curb appeal signals this is “the one”. Your potential buyer may be looking for a reminder of a childhood home or a preferred style, and your exterior can be a potent reminder of happy memories.
Curb Appeal is so important to buyer perceptions there’s even an HGTV show by that name. I’ve lost count of how many times potential buyers comment on whether or not a home has good curb appeal. It’s sex appeal for houses. Without it you probably won’t get any interest from buyers!
It’s universal. According to the NAR, nearly 50% of buyers make a decision about a home before they even walk through the front door. The front door needs to say “this is it, you’re home”.
Creating a fresh and inviting entry to your property gives the impression the home is well cared for, another psychological advantage to selling. After all what buyer is going to expect a well maintained interior if the exterior looks tired?
7 Quick Curb Appeal Fixes
- Front door
The front entry is the focal point of the home’s exterior. Clean and re-paint with a fresh coat of glossy exterior paint to complement the exterior siding, brick or stone. If your solid custom wood door is stained, freshen the color with stain or add a coat of clear sealer. If necessary replace a worn or outdated door style. This also applies to your garage doors if they’re visible from the front of the house.
Create symmetry by aligning a pair of sconces or planter urns on either side of your front door. Balance is the key.
A pair of something creates a feeling of harmony and order, which signals to buyers they can expect more of the same inside. If you have space near the front entry, place a pair of teak or heavy aluminum chairs in a seating group. Adirondack chairs work well too depending on your location.
- Hardware + House Numbers
Metal door hardware can be cleaned or polished. Same goes for house numbers, although it’s a relatively inexpensive fix to replace them. The ideal size of numbers depends on your home and placement, but go big if possible. Match finishes of sconces, lighting, hardware and house numbers to create a coordinated entry.
- Grass + Garden + Planters
Got grass? Keeping it nicely watered and mowed is the best way to showcase the front of the house. Dead or dying grass or plants signal neglect, so remove anything that isn’t flourishing or doesn’t respond to watering. It’s best to start your “green” curb appeal landscape project weeks ahead of when your home goes on sale. Add a pair of good size planters on either side of your front door if possible, planted with a colorful mix of flowers and green. If you’re short on time, simply buy a ready grown pot and plop into a planter.
Buyers may come by your home after dark either as a drive by or walk through the neighborhood to get a feel for it. Any exterior lighting, whether an outdoor sconce by the front door or a post fixture on your walkway needs fresh lightbulbs that create a welcoming warm light. Pathway or solar lighting also can create a subtle homey vibe if all components are working and lit after dark.
Does your property still have an old fashioned mailbox by the street or front door? If it needs replacing or a coat of fresh paint, your buyers will notice. Why not replace it or freshen it with a coat of glossy paint. Try using the same paint for the mailbox and front door. It goes without saying, any name on the side of the mailbox can be removed so buyers can visualize their own name there!
The least expensive fix in your curb appeal toolbox, paint gives the most bang for your buck. If the exterior of your property looks worn or dated, paint can be a quick solution. If siding or exterior walls are good, your trim may just need to be updated with a clean coat of white or off white. When exterior walls look tired due to fading, consider repainting. If your homes exterior color isn’t trendy now, use a fresh coat of paint to maximize curb appeal.
Whatever you do to increase your property’s curb appeal, keep in mind it’s architectural style when planning updates. If you’re in Phoenix or Spain, you can get away with minimal xeriscaped landscaping, but if you’re in a climate with lush greenery, don’t plan on it.
Keep all fixtures and lighting compatible with the architectural style as well. Craftsmen style fixtures work well on cottages and even occasionally contemporary styles for example.
Crafting the art of the perfect curb appeal is similar to writing a perfect dating profile. You want to entice, intrigue and create a sense of positive expectation!