You only have one chance to make a good first impression. The view of your home from the street can help prospective buyers fall in love and want to come inside to see more. In fact, half of purchase decisions are made during the first 60 seconds, while the buyer is coming up the front walkway, according to real estate industry studies. As you start to prepare your home for sale, consider spending more on the exterior, making sure it draws buyers’ attention. Here are five curb appeal tips and easy upgrade projects to consider:
1. Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint
If your exterior siding or trim is wood, repainting it can have a big impact. While painting an entire home is probably best left to professionals due to its complexity, it can be expensive, averaging around $2,500. If the price is prohibitive, consider touching up just the trim, which can make a big difference for a fraction of the price. At the very least, give your front door a new coat of paint in a welcoming color. This is a great do-it-yourself project that will cost you just about $20 in materials.
2. Keep up With Basic Maintenance
Your home may look great from the street, but what about up close? Walk around the exterior and look for any cracked windows, loose shutters or missing mortar. Once repairs are made, make sure to give your exterior a nice cleaning. Pay attention to the windows, and consider renting a pressure washer for about $80 per day to remove dirt and grime from bricks, siding and pavement. You’ll be surprised by how fresh your home looks when you’re done.
3. Invest in Landscaping
The right landscaping can raise your home’s value by 10 percent to 12 percent, according to research from Virginia Tech. The most preferred landscape design is sophisticated and features large deciduous, evergreen, annual colored plants and colored hardscape, according to Alex X. Niemiera, an extension horticulturist at the Department of Horticulture at Virginia Tech. However, hiring a professional landscaper can be expensive. Luckily, if you have a green thumb, there are several things you can do yourself. Just make sure you trim overgrown existing hedges and cut back branches of trees that are blocking the view of your home. Then rake leaves, clean out flower beds and keep your lawn nicely mowed.
4. Make the Front Door Welcoming
The front door is where you’ll welcome potential buyers, so it should be as inviting as possible. You already know it needs fresh coat of paint, but look at the area that immediately surrounds it. Can you add a decorative wreath? Is the door hardware in good condition? Is there room on the porch for a potted plant? And is your welcome mat really welcoming? Adding some personality to your front door isn’t expensive, but making it stylish will make a big impression.
5. Upgrade Lighting
Put the spotlight on your home by making sure it’s well-lit. While a lot of potential buyers will visit during the daytime, some might stop by or drive by at night, so you want your home to shine around the clock. Start with your porch light. If it’s in good shape, make sure to clean the shade so it exudes as much light as possible. If it’s seen better days, consider replacing it with something attractive that matches your home’s exterior style. If you have room in your budget, consider adding landscape lighting that will highlight your home’s architectural features and increase the safety of your home. Landscape lighting starts at about $1,500, but you can opt for a quick upgrade that doesn’t involve wiring by installing a few solar-powered lights yourself.
Using these five curb appeal tips will help you complete projects that sell your home faster and for a higher price. Before you know it, your neighbors will start making remarks about how nice your home looks, and you’ll be well on your way to impressing potential buyers.