3 Curb Appeal Improvements to Make Before Selling Your Home

Tony 07/31/2019

Now that summer is officially here, the real estate market is really heating up. The National Association of Realtors estimates that 5.34 million existing homes were sold in 2018, so it’s likely that 2019 numbers will be at least comparable. But if you’re looking to be one of the American homeowners who sells your home for top dollar this year, you may need to take a closer look at your curb appeal.

While the interior of your home certainly matters quite a bit, your property’s curb appeal is responsible for creating that pivotal first impression. If would-be buyers don’t feel welcomed or spot problems right off the bat, it’s going to be much harder to win them over later. A recent National Association of Realtors survey found that 71% of homeowners prioritize curb appeal when choosing their next property, which means you can’t afford to regard it as an after-thought. What’s more, real estate agents also emphasize the importance of curb appeal, with 94% recommending that their clients improve their property’s curb appeal prior to listing it for sale. If you don’t invest money here, you’ll have a tougher time selling your home in a timely fashion and for asking price.

So what can you do to improve your curb appeal? There are a number of ways to win buyers over just by focusing on the exterior of your home and your green spaces. Below, you’ll find just three areas you’ll want to highlight before listing your home on the market.

Invest in Superior Landscaping

Landscaping is immensely important for potential buyers. A well-manicured lawn and colorful flowers can make all the difference between a home that sells in a matter of days and one that sits on the market for months. It may seem like a waste to put so much effort and money into a property you’re planning to leave, but consider the value that landscaping can provide. Although the American Society of Landscape Architects recommends that homeowners invest 10% of their home’s value in landscaping, a good landscape design may provide a 20% return on investment when it comes time to sell. Make sure to contact a landscaping professional to address any existing issues (like a brown and patchy lawn or overgrown trees and shrubs) or to design a new landscaping plan to be completed prior to listing.

Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint

You might be amazed by what a fresh coat of paint can accomplish. If it’s been several years since your home’s exterior was painted and it looks a bit worse for wear, you’ll want to prioritize this. No buyer wants to commit to a home that looks shoddy, so do everything you can to ensure the first impression your property gives is a positive one. You may even want to consider swapping out the color of your main entryway. Realtor.com states that a black front door tells buyers your home is a safe and serious place to live. According to a Zillow analysis, homes with charcoal gray or black front doors sold for as much as $6,271 more than homeowners expected. That doesn’t mean your home’s color palette should look boring, but it may prompt you to think outside the box. Speaking of boxes, you may want to paint your existing mailbox a cheerier color, too.

And don’t forget about painting your outdoor entertainment spaces! Building a brand new deck can offer an ROI of 75.6%, but sprucing up an existing porch, deck, or patio space can boost your home’s existing curb appeal. If you’re painting your porch or deck, be sure to use exterior paint without VOCs and odors; just because you’re outside doesn’t mean you can afford to release toxic chemicals into the air.

Improve Your Paths

Pathways and driveways both serve important purposes: they provide a safe means for visitors to navigate to the entry points of your home. But don’t forget that they need to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. If your driveway has cracks or your front walk is broken or dirty, guests might not be so inclined to come onto your property at all. You should consider investing in driveway repairs or resurfacing before listing your home, as well as pressure washing or even replacing your walkways. That way, your property will look its best and won’t present any kind of safety hazard to family members or would-be buyers.

It’s not always easy to know what improvements your property needs, but most homeowners are smart to start on the outside. With these three tips in mind, you’ll be able to make noticeable changes to your home and appeal to the wants and needs of today’s buyers.