The first item to look at when preparing your home for sale is the exterior. You see, most buyers form their first impression of your home before they even get out of their cars. “Curb appeal,” or the view from the curb, shapes the buyer’s initial impression of your home compared to others. It is important to enhance your home’s curb appeal because it sets the tone for what the buyer is going to see inside. If the buyer likes the exterior, he or she will be more inclined to also like the interior.
In any market, it takes more than trimming the hedges and planting a few flowers to create curb appeal. You owe it to yourself to put the exterior of your home in pristine condition – freshly painted, cleared of clutter, with no visible repairs needed. A broken step, overgrown bush, or abandoned toys in the yard can spoil your home’s appearance and sully the buyer’s first impression.
To determine what needs to be done to improve your home’s curb appeal, go outside, stand on the curb and try to look at your home the way the buyer will. Make sure walkways are clear of weeds and debris. Driveways should also be clear of vehicles, toys and debris. Keep your lawn mowed, edged and watered. Prune dead branches and plants. Weed flower beds and replace leggy, thin landscaping with fresh plants and flowers. Replace loose or damaged roof shingles, clean the gutters, and paint window trim and doors. Think about repainting the front door an eye-catching color that complements the rest of the exterior.
If your door handle and lock are scratched or worn, consider replacing them with shiny new hardware. Make sure that the door opens and operates smoothly. Power wash siding, walkways, windows, and porches. In addition to the door lock and handle, consider replacing mailboxes, light fixtures, or any other fixture that looks less-than-fresh. Put out a new welcome mat.
Some parts of your home may require more work than others, but making sure at least the exterior pops is well worth it to get buyers eager to see what’s inside.