The snow is gone (hopefully), the trees and flowers are starting to bloom and people are on the move. It’s a great time to sell your home! So why isn’t it selling? There could be several reasons, but there is one I see way too often. And that is poor curb appeal. When sellers put their houses on the market, curb appeal is often not the priority. There is so much interior work to be done, that often the exterior is neglected. There’s the painting, cleaning, repairs, updates, and the seemingly endless job of de-cluttering. There is often little effort to make the exterior look absolutely amazing.
I happen to believe that curb appeal is just as important-or even more important- as anything you can do on the interior for this simple reason: The vast majority of buyers will do a drive-by of your house to help them decide if they want to see it inside. If the curb appeal is poor, they often will move on to another house. Their thinking is that the condition of the exterior is a good indication of the interior. Now, that is not always the case, but unfortunately that’s how most buyers’ minds work. I know…I’ve done it myself! Unfortunately, we often DO judge a book by its cover…or a house by its curb appeal!
So the goal should be to get as many people in that door as possible by enticing them with your curb appeal. There are lots of houses available in this market, so give them a compelling reason to choose to see YOUR house. And then, after they get inside, give them a compelling reason to BUY your house!
The BASICS of curb appeal needed for every house that goes on the market include:
- Clean all the windows and doors and power wash the siding.
- Ensure all the door/entrance hardware is in good condition; if not, replace it. That would include the doorbell, the light fixtures, the door handles/locks, mailbox, etc.
- Trim any trees and shrubs to allow lots of light inside and to make your house easily visible from the street. Remove any dead or dying trees or shrubs.
- Keep the lawn free of weeds and freshly mowed.
- Replace or repair steps and/or walkway if needed.
- Move children’s toys, bikes and garbage/recycling bins, hoses to an inconspicuous area.
- Touch up paint/caulking if needed.
- Paint or stain the steps, veranda, deck and fence if needed.
How to make your house REALLY stand out (and get those buyers in your door)?
- Paint your front door a bright color to make it pop.
- Add shutters and paint them to complement the door color. If you already have shutters, paint them a complementary color.
- Plant some annuals for lots of color.
- Spread bark mulch to clean up messy areas.
- Add a couple of urns with flowers on each side of the front door.
- Hanging baskets are great, especially if you have a front veranda.
- Add a small bistro table/chairs, or two comfortable chairs on the front veranda/step if there is room.
- Don’t forget the back of your house! If you have a deck, arrange an eating area and a lounging area with some nice patio furniture. Flowers in large flower pots always add appeal.