What Curb Appeal does for your Home Value.


Potential home buyers make a lot of judgments about a house before they even step inside. Curb appeal – or the view they see as they drive buy or up to the house, will determine if the buyer feels welcomed, and if they feel the house is worth further consideration.


So many houses are taken off a list before anyone even gets a chance to step inside!


Sometimes it is difficult to look at our own homes the way a potential buyer would. It is natural to become accustomed to the way things look and work, and we lose our ability to see the faults or areas of improvement.

You need to pull yourself out of this way of thinking if you are trying to sell, and stop thinking of the house like your home—it needs to be just a property—something you want to sell for the highest amount possible.

Try this exercise: The next time you drive up to your house, slow down as you approach. Take in the surroundings, the other homes, the yard, the trees. Look at the driveway. Does it need to be re-paved? Could the yard use edging or mowing? What is the first impression your house and yard give? What is a positive aspect of the property that you could enhance? Look at the other homes in the neighborhood. What are they doing right? What is attractive about their lawns, gardens, houses?

Next take pictures of the exterior of your home and property from various angles and have them developed.

Looking at the house and yard in this way will help you remove the connection and see it the way others will. Show the pictures to friends and consider going to a garden store to see what they might recommend for landscaping.


Tip #2


Curb appeal is what will make a potential buyer want to stop and walk into your house. Doing small touch-ups and cleaning up the outside of your property will make a huge difference in bring in the buyers. Here are the top twelve things you can do to increase your curb appeal and sell that house quick!

  • 1) Store any extra garden implements, lawn ornaments and tools away. Less is more!
  • 2) Clean out gutters and wash the windows—inside and out!
  • 3) Mow the lawn, weed, edge and re-mulch if possible. Seed any bare spots, and make sure the garden areas and lawn areas are clearly defined.
  • 4) Add color by planting colorful seasonal flowers like mums at the front entrance. Consider painting the front door an inviting, contrasting color such as red, or hang a wreath.
  • 5) Rake up and remove leaves—even into the wooded areas of your lot. Make your property look large and open.
  • 6) Trim the trees and shrubs. Be sure that no tree limbs are touching the roof.
  • 7) Inspect the sidewalks, roof, house and driveway and remove mildew and growth. Seal cracks or replace if necessary.
  • 8) Touch up any paint needed. Consider especially window frames and the front door. A fresh coat goes a long way! If there are window and door screens, make sure they are clean and in good condition.
  • 9) Clean out the garage of any clutter. Extra boxes, garden tools, toys, etc. should be stored up and out of the way or removed entirely.
  • 10) Light it up. Make sure the house is well-light from the outside, replace dead bulbs and clean fixtures.
  • 11) Make sure your address is visible on your home and mailbox. If they can’t find your house…they won’t stop!
  • 12) Repair anything that is broken, including gutters, doors, windows, lamp posts, decks or railings. If a buyer thinks your home is in disrepair, they won’t stop or they will spend the time there looking for other things that are broken.

Tip #3


Tips for Creating Curb Appeal

Before you put your house on the market, you should look for ways to increase the curb appeal of your property. Potential buyers will make a quick decision whether to stop and look inside, just based on the appearance of the home and yard. And if they do decide to look at the house, their whole decision-making process will be colored by their first impression.


So, how do you up your property’s curb appeal on a budget? Remember, that there are low-cost options, and some that could be a bit more of an investment…however, these changes can also increase the value of the home, and bring in the cash to not only pay for the updates done, but put cash back into your pocket.


Below are a few tips to bring in the buyer’s without breaking the bank.

  • 1) Add landscaping and an “outdoor living” space. Your property’s value will increase with a clean and attractive yard, and a place to enjoy it. If possible look into putting in a deck or patio. Your outdoor space is just as important as the indoor space. If you can’t afford adding new flowers, make sure at the least you weed and edge the garden and seed bald spots. A clean and tidy yard will speak volumes to buyers.
  • 2) Paint or replace the front door and the garage door. The garage door is a considerably large part of your home’s appearance and the buyer’s driving by will see this. The front door will be the first thing the buyer will notice as they enter the home. Make sure these are both clean and in good condition. Replace the door knob if it is old or broken. Doors either welcome visitors and buyers or give the impression you don’t want people in your home – so “be inviting!”
  • 3) Add a stone walkway or path going up to your front door or through the yard, or resurface your driveway with a stamped or scored concrete. This extra element will add interest and set your property apart, as well as provide a memorable first impression.
  • 4) Replace a chain or old wood fence with shrubbery and landscaping or a stone wall. These changes add unexpected texture and interest to the yard and bring in buyers. Be creative and give the new homeowners something beautiful to look at.
  • 5) Buy flowers and put them in pots at the front door or on the steps. Fresh, beautiful, blooming plants say you have attention to detail and an interest in beautifying your home. This will attract buyers and give them a positive impression of the property.

By taking a few simple steps, and by making an investment, you will be able to get the buyer’s to your front door—and through it! So, focus on curb appeal, and sell that house fast!


Tip #4


If you are like so many home-sellers right now, your house has been on sale a couple months, and you are starting to wonder if it is ever going to sell.


The current economy has produced a flood of homes on the market, lowered prices and not enough buyers able to make the purchase. These factors are meaning houses are on the market longer and selling for less than the original asking price—and sometimes dramatically under the home-value!


Fortunately there are things you can do to keep your asking price up and to draw in more buyers. With just a few updates, you can completely change the curb appeal of your house.


First, take a look at the property from across the street and write down all the things that look like they could detract from seeing the overall greatness of the house. Are there things that could be cleaned up, such as extra lawn ornaments, children’s toys, or even several cars in the driveway? Is the front walkway clean, in good repair and inviting? Is there a burst of color that attracts the eye to the front door like a contrasting paint color or flower box? Are leaves raked up and trees and shrubs neatly trimmed?


If you live in a snowy climate, remember that it is even more difficult to sell a home in the winter months. Make sure that the driveway, walk and steps are all shoveled and salted, and that the numbers on the mailbox and door are visible.


Also remember to keep the house well light, inside and out, so that buyer’s driving by at dusk or on a cloudy day can get a feel for how warm and inviting the home is.


People looking for a new house today and lucky to have a buyer’s market, and pick of the best houses available. Make sure yours is the one they look at by taking away any negatives, or reasons someone will just “drive-by.” This is a fickle economy, but you capture the interest of those people who are looking!


Also, don’t forget to ask your real estate agent to take new pictures of the outside of the home and the property after you have made your updates—show off to potential buyer’s the assets of the home that could be theirs!


Tip #5


Return on investment – an outdoor living space.


There are a lot of homes on the market today—and a lot of them are pretty similar. Many times there are several within just one neighborhood that are on sale. So if you are a home-seller, how can you make your house stand apart from the rest? And how can you get your return on investment in the process?


Putting an addition onto the house, updating the kitchen or bathroom, and putting in new windows are all very good ways to do this, but so often, this comes with such a huge investment, that a buyer is unwilling to make these changes. However, there is something that can be done with will give your house the “wow” factor you want, and you won’t have to knock down any walls to make it happen.


Yards are often overlooked and underutilized. They offer a sanctuary and give a home a personalized and unique feel. “Outdoor living” is a very popular phrase right now, and may be the answer to your curb appeal and ROI questions.


Patios can be small and intimate or elaborate and sprawling. A well conceived and built outdoor living space can in essence increase the square footage of the house and attract potential buyers.


A backyard (or side-yard, or even front-yard) living space could include a patio, grill, fireplace, knee-wall, shade umbrellas or awning, tables and or lounge chairs, a pool or hot tub, pond, or reading area. It could be square and close to the house or wind through the property with little pockets of secret spaces. It could be made up of pavers or rock, concrete or just organic materials and landscaping.


Your budget and imagination are your only limitations.


The home’s value will increase, the curb appeal will increase and you will without a doubt get your return on investment. Just be careful… you may like this new outdoor space so much you decide not to sell the house at all!


Tip #6


Curb appeal counts when selling


You have chosen to put your house on the market, tidied, cleaned and decorated the inside and you wait in anticipation of the dozens of prospective buyers that will come through the door... But then they don’t. What is going on?

Curb appeal counts and many buyers will pass up your house just based on what it looks like from the outside. They may drive by, see these flaws and take your house off the list of houses they plan to view. First impressions do matter.

“Curb appeal” is the impression your house makes when seen from a car or as you approach. If the exterior of the house and the yard are attractive and well maintained, prospective purchasers walk in with a positive feeling—but most especially, they will walk in. If the lawn is overgrown, the windows are dirty and the front steps are broken, you won’t have much of a chance of getting the most buyers and the best price.


Ask your selling agent to inspect your home’s exterior and property. Write down any suggestions or areas of improvement that they comment on. An agent works with people all the time who are looking to buy and sell homes and they will be able to give you an unbiased opinion and fresh perspective.

If you don’t have the time or ability to make the updates that are needed to increase your curb appeal, you should consider hiring a gardening or landscape service, or handyman.

Your home’s appearance is an advertisement—if it is good it will help you sell the house. If you make an investment in increasing your house’s curb appeal, you may get more viewings, a faster sale likely a better price.