Tips to Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

autumn-houseClean, clean, clean. Remove the vegetation growing in cracks in concrete walkways or between paving blocks, wash down the siding, clean the roof and gutters, wash the windows, and make your home look move-in fresh. Don’t forget outbuildings and storage sheds.

Spruce up the yard. Mow and edge the lawn, and get rid of weeds, leaves and dead branches. Cut back shrubs that are hiding your home’s beauty, especially around windows. Beds or pots of annuals add a splash of color and make the home feel cared-for.

Make it new again. If the patio furniture or backyard play equipment is past its prime, give it a new coat of paint or remove it. A fresh, neutral coat of paint on the house can make it look new, and contemporary color schemes can take years off an older design style. Tasks such as refinishing a deck or recoating a driveway with asphalt can have big payoffs.

Make the entryway say “welcome.” Your door makes the first close-up impression. Consider replacing it with one that’s more stylish, paint it a contrasting color, or add some new hardware such as a kickplate or door knocker. Adding a seating area can also make the entryway more inviting.

Dress up your windows. Add some shutters or planter boxes to give the “eyes” of your home some soul.

Three ways to evaluate your home’s curb appeal:

Park where a potential buyer would, and walk towards the house. Can you see the best features of the house, or are they blocked by shrubbery? What detracts from the appeal of the home? A cracked driveway? Water stains below the gutters? Address those first impressions first.

Take digital photos of the exterior. Look at color photos first, then look at them again in black and white to see problem areas more clearly without the distraction of color.

Evaluate your home at different times of day and from different angles. Take another look at your home at dusk. Would additional lighting make your home more attractive? People will try to drive around to see your backyard. If you have an alley, how does your home look from that angle?

See our free Guide to Selling a Home for even more tips from the pros.