Selling a home is an art that begins the moment a potential buyer lays eyes on the property. And when preparing to sell your home, the exterior is just as important as the interior. A property’s curb appeal can be the deciding factor for potential buyers, making it crucial to create a welcoming and attractive first impression. Check out these practical steps to enhance your home’s curb appeal, ensuring it stands out in a competitive real estate market.

Why curb appeal matters

Curb appeal is essential in attracting potential buyers, acting as the visual handshake of your property. A home with a well-maintained exterior suggests to buyers that the interior is equally cared for, setting a positive tone for their entire visit. Perhaps even more importantly, a property’s curb appeal can significantly impact its perceived value, potentially increasing its selling price. The psychological effect of a beautiful exterior cannot be understated; it creates an emotional response that can influence the buyer’s decision-making process. This emotional impact is supported by the fact that many buyers decide whether they’re interested in a home within the first few seconds of seeing it.

Clean up your front yard

House with good curb appeal

Landscaping is a key component of curb appeal. Selecting the right plants, flowers, and shrubs can transform your front yard into a vibrant and inviting entryway. When choosing flora, consider those that complement the style of your home and are suitable for your climate. Regular maintenance, such as mowing the lawn and pruning bushes, is essential to keep your garden looking its best. Additionally, incorporating hardscaping elements like stone pathways, benches, or a fountain can add character and charm to your property.

If you haven’t kept up with your yard maintenance, talk to your real estate agent about your options. Your agent should have vetted contractors that they can recommend to help get your yard ready before listing your house for sale.

Exterior repairs and maintenance are prerequisites for selling

Man fixing the roof of a house, important for curb appeal when selling

Before listing your home, conduct a thorough inspection of the exterior to identify any maintenance issues. Common problems include peeling paint, damaged siding, and clogged gutters. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent them from becoming deal-breakers during buyer inspections. A well-maintained roof, siding, and gutters not only improve curb appeal but also signal to buyers that the home has been properly cared for, potentially making the selling process smoother.

Conducting a pre-listing home inspection is a great way to identify crucial maintenance issues before you list. This proactive approach can help you avoid surprises during the buyer’s inspection – or avoid a buyer’s inspection altogether – and may provide you with additional negotiation power. It also allows you to address problems at your own pace, potentially saving money and improving the overall condition of your property before it goes on the market.

A fresh coat of paint is a big boost for your home’s exterior appearance

Before and after of a house with a new paint job, important for curb appeal when selling

A new paint job can dramatically improve your home’s curb appeal. While the house color is a relatively easy thing to change, many potential buyers will walk away immediately if your house is a color that they don’t like. This is why selecting a neutral and widely appealing color palette is crucial—it broadens the appeal of your home, attracting a larger pool of potential buyers.

Choosing the right color scheme can modernize your home’s appearance and make it stand out in the neighborhood. When deciding between a DIY project and hiring professionals, consider the scale of the job and your own skills. Proper preparation, including cleaning and priming surfaces, is crucial for achieving a durable and attractive finish. If you’re not experienced in painting, hiring professionals can ensure a high-quality finish that will withstand the elements and continue to attract buyers for the duration your home is on the market.

Upgrade your entryway and welcome buyers with style

The area around the front door is the focal point of your home’s exterior. One of the simplest ways you can boost your entryway is by giving your front door a fresh coat of paint, using a bold color like red or black.

Updated lighting fixtures and new hardware also can make a significant difference. Consider replacing worn out items like the doormat and house numbers with stylish, modern alternatives. Installing a sleek, new mailbox can complement these updates. These small changes can go a long way to enhance the appeal of your entryway, making it more welcoming to potential buyers.

Outdoor staging and décor create an inviting atmosphere

When you think about staging, most home sellers think sofas, linens, and artwork. But don’t forget about the outdoors. Staging the outdoor areas can show potential buyers what relaxation and entertainment can look like at your home.

Arrange outdoor furniture thoughtfully to highlight how potential buyers might be able to use that space. Potted plants and tasteful outdoor accessories can add color and charm, while a well-placed outdoor rug can define an entertainment area. Installing outdoor lighting, such as string lights or solar-powered lanterns, can create a warm and inviting ambiance during evening showings. Demonstrating the potential for outdoor living spaces can be particularly appealing to buyers, offering them a glimpse of the lifestyle your home offers.

It’s easy to ignore the exterior, but it’s worth your effort not to

House with excellent curb appeal when selling, fresh paint, maintained lawn

Enhancing your home’s curb appeal is a crucial step in the selling process. By focusing on landscaping, maintenance, paint, and decorative upgrades, you can create a welcoming and attractive exterior that captures the interest of potential buyers. Investing time and effort into these areas can pay off by making your home more desirable and potentially increasing its selling price.