Don’t overlook the curb appeal of your house
While it’s true that we spend much more time inside of our houses than pulling up to the curbs on the outside, people still put a lot of stock in how the exterior looks. If you are selling your house, you want it to be inviting, from the very first impression–when the buyer first sees it from the street. So if you are putting your house on the market, do yourself a favor and go stand at the curb and take a critical look.
What to consider when assessing curb appeal
So what matters to prospective buyers? The lawn and landscaping, to be sure. Your property should be neat and tidy, even if it only has grass. Keep it mow, if it’s late spring-early fall. If there are perennial plantings, make sure they are trimmed and not overgrown. Trees should be devoid of dead branches and should not overhang the roof. If it’s late fall, be sure to rake or blow the leaves and don’t overlook the gutters, which can easily become clogged with leaves and other debris.
What about the driveway? Is it in reasonably good condition? And the mailbox? Of course it’s silly–a new buyer could easily replace a dented or rusty mailbox and no, that mailbox may in no way mirror the condition of the house. However, first impressions are first impressions and a prospective buyer might make assumptions, even unconsciously, so don’t provide opportunities for negative opinions to form when there are simple, inexpensive remedies.
Wash the windows. This task has value once people are inside the house as well. Consider what is visible through the windows from the exterior and make any changes that might be indicated. Does your front door need to be painted? Does the spring work on the storm door? (You’d be surprised how often broken door springs turn off buyers.) Check the facade and look for any damage. If you have siding, make sure it’s all firmly attached and well-painted. Are the shutters hanging crookedly off the house? Brick or stone work should be examined for any pointing concerns. Same goes for the chimney. Gutters and downspouts should be clean and well-attached.
Don’t underestimate the value of curb appeal
Remember, the exterior is the first and last impression a prospective buyer has of your house. While the interior space and layout may be more important in the long run, we often form opinions on “looks”. When a buyer is pleased with the facade and the front yard, it creates an initial positive feeling about the property. People want their homes to feel inviting. An attractive, well-maintained facade and property contribute to that feeling. So when you are preparing to list your house for sale, don’t overlook the importance of good curb appeal.