5 Low-Cost Ways to Increase Curb Appeal Before Selling Your Home

Even in today’s low-inventory market, a buyer’s initial impressions of a property are essential. Home sellers, of course, only have one chance to make an excellent first impression, and it all comes down to curb appeal.

Curb appeal refers to how a property seems from the outside, and it might influence how much a buyer is ready to spend for a home.

According to research by management professor Sriram Villupuram of the University of Texas at Arlington, homes with great curb appeal sell for 7% more on average than those with a less attractive façade. In hundreds of Google Street View photographs, Villupuram taught computers to distinguish qualities like manicured bushes, well-mowed lawns, and bright flowers.

“The initial impression for prospective buyers has a tremendous influence on their thinking as they tour your house,” says Bailey Carson, a home expert at Angi.com, a digital marketplace for home services.

Even minor flaws on a home’s exterior might deter purchasers, according to Brendon DeSimone, a real estate broker with Houlihan Lawrence in Bedford, New York, and author of Next Generation Real Estate. “If the paint on your front door is chipped, buyers may be anxious about how well you’ve kept up the inside of your property.”

Here are five methods to improve your home’s curb appeal so you can sell it for top money or try Consolidation Now.

Landscaping should be improved.

According to a 2019 poll of real estate agents conducted by HomeLight, a real estate referral firm based in San Francisco, well-landscaped houses sell for anywhere from 1% to 10% more than homes without landscaping.

“When buyers come up to your house, you want the landscape to seem clean and perfect,” explains DeSimone.

On the other hand, professional landscaping may be costly, with the typical cost of a landscaper’s professional designs and improvements such as new plants, a patio, and a backyard pathway ranging from $8,000 to $15,000, according to home renovation portal Fixr.com. In a front yard, more modest interventions such as fresh grass seed, dirt, and bushes cost about $3,000.

What’s the good news? Sarah Hutchinson, director of content at GardenDesign.com, adds, “There are some straightforward, low-cost things you can do to improve your home’s landscape.”

She recommends using annual flowers like petunias in potted plants, window boxes, or hanging planters. “Just throw them in, and you’ve got an immediate splash of color.” Hutchinson adds, “You can also throw down a layer of new mulch to give your landscape a sharp and clean appearance.” (Tip: check your municipality’s free mulch program.) Homeowners in Arlington, Virginia, may acquire mulch produced from recovered leaves for free.)

Remember to mow the grass, trim trees and bushes, and remove weeds and dead limbs, advises Lisa Stryker, a National Association of Landscape Professionals spokesman.

Make sure the driveway, pathway, and windows are all spotless.

You may not notice your driveway when you pull into your driveway each day, but DeSimone claims many purchasers will. “If your driveway has tire tracks or oil stains on it,” Hutchinson explains, “you can usually get rid of them by power washing it.”

Consider hiring a professional window cleaner to remove streaks, filth, and dust from your windows, a specific focus point for potential purchasers. According to HomeAdvisor, window cleaning costs an average of $213, with lesser tasks beginning at about $80. Many cleaning businesses will clean both the inside and outside of your home.

“Washing your windows can also assist in bringing natural light into your house,” Hutchinson explains.

Your front door should be painted (or replaced).

“Because the front door is the primary entry to your property, it’s a great spot to renovate before getting ready to sell,” Carson adds. Are you looking for the perfect shade? While a brightly colored front door may help specific properties, according to a 2018 Zillow research, homes with black doors sold for $6,271 more than their assessed home worth.

Furthermore, painting a front door is a straightforward DIY job. According to HGTV.com, tools, and equipment like a two-in-one bucket of paint and primer, paintbrush, drop cloth, and sandpaper cost about $75, and there are plenty of YouTube tutorials with step-by-step instructions.

However, there is one exception. It may be time to replace your front door if it has warping, paint cracks, corrosion, or scratches. According to HomeAdvisor statistics, front doors cost an average of $1,000, and expert installation costs an average of $1,091.

Replace the light fittings.

Replace obsolete light fixtures and antiquated house numbers to update your home’s exterior appearance. A new mailbox may also make your home more appealing; you can get one for as low as $30 and install it yourself at Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Don’t forget to replace any lightbulbs that have burned out. Agents often show properties to buyers at night (mainly if a property is unoccupied) in today’s fast-paced housing market, so having a well-lit approach to your front door is essential.

Purchase low-cost outdoor furniture.

Don’t leave your front deck or patio unattended. “Many purchasers’ wish lists include livable outside space,” Carson adds.

“People are seeking opportunities to connect with their neighbors outside coming out of COVID,” DeSimone says. So, if you can put a bench or a pair of rocking rockers on your porch, it will appeal to many potential purchasers.”

About Leona A. Yow

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