Home staging is one of the most popular ways of preparing your home for a sale today. And while that step is significant, it shouldn’t make you underestimate or neglect the importance of improving your home’s curb appeal. After all, the home’s exterior is your future buyer’s first impression and trust us. You want it to be a good one. Unlike staging, working on adding curb appeal to your home can be done over time, and it’ll benefit you long before you decide to list your home.
Before we start listing some of the most popular ways of improving the curb appeal of your home, a good idea would be to get outside and try taking in your home’s exterior from the perspective of someone who is seeing it for the first time. What do you think already looks good? What could use some improvement? Is there anything you notice that a person might consider a flaw? Try answering these questions to get a general idea of what you would like to improve.
1. Lighting improvements
The main reason why this is so popular is that it can be extremely cheap and easy to DIY, and yet very effective. Good outdoor lighting is essential for several reasons. Not only can it help highlight the parts of your home that you’re more proud of after the sun sets, but it’s also an important safety feature. You can also use certain types of lighting to create ambiance.
Unless you’re working with an ultra-modern minimalist home, we recommend going for warmer tones for a homey atmosphere. Clean all the fixtures, replace any bulbs that aren’t working and make sure they all give a uniform tone, and you’ve improved your home’s evening curb appeal by a lot.
Pro tip: Adding string lights to your front porch to make it feel more inviting to hang out in the evening has recently become a trendy way to add curb appeal to your home. Almost every buyer today is going to appreciate that simple decoration accent.
2. Landscaping is the most popular way to add curb appeal to your home
Landscaping is an unskippable part of improving the look of your home’s exterior. However, do keep in mind that this can turn into a very financially draining project. If you can afford a professional landscaper or gardener to do this for you, you should do it. A professional will always know what works and what’ll look best. However, if you would rather do this yourself and keep this project budget-friendly, here are the most popular improvements your should make:
- Make sure your lawn looks good – If you’re working with real grass, mow it, pull any weeds you see, and water it regularly to prevent brown spots. An even better option would be installing fake grass, it’s easier to keep up, and it’ll always look good;
- Use shrubs and perennials rather than flowers – These are much easier for upkeep, and you won’t have to replant them as often as annual bedding flowers;
- Use planters, pots, and window boxes – These add a sense of organization to your gardening and are much easier to replace if something dries out.
3. Power wash your driveway
Your driveway has taken on a lot over the years. If the concrete is discolored, it’s time to get it power-washed. That is something that homeowners usually forget to do since you only realize how much your driveway needed it after you do it. If you notice a lot of dings, scratches, and bumps, however, it might be time to reseal it.
That is generally a home maintenance task you should do every once in a while, but if you plan on moving out before you list your home, this is an unskippable step. For example, if you’re from California and moving long distances, you’re probably looking for a moving company to help you handle the process with ease. Most of these companies use large vans which will drive in and out of your driveway more than a few times. That is almost sure to take a toll on the look of your driveway.
4. Repaint or replace your front door
Refreshing your old front door is a great way to add curb appeal to your home. It’s a popular choice for many because it’s very effective and not as expensive as you might expect. For example, a simple, classy fundamental steel front door will likely set you back only about a hundred bucks.
If you prefer something with a little more character, you can add another one to two hundred. But, if you already have a good front door and don’t want to waste money on a new one, a fresh coat of paint or lacquer can go a long way.
Be smart about the type of door you choose. Asking a realtor or professional exterior designer about this could be a good idea. A certain style door will greatly benefit some homes but might turn out “tacky” and “extra” in others. Getting the opinion of a professional who has encountered both results can help give you perspective.
5. Add a fresh coat of paint to your exterior walls
Adding a fresh coat of paint to your home’s exterior walls can go a long way. In general, the most popular colors lately have been neutral earthy tones. Going for colors that are too bold can turn off a lot of potential buyers. You can’t go wrong with a classy muted creme or a cool grey.
Another essential thing to keep in mind, however, is your neighborhood. If all of the homes in your street have warm colors, you shouldn’t make your home stick out with something completely different. It might sound like a good idea to make your home unique this way, but it’ll just put off future buyers.
An important thing to note when deciding which of these tips you’ll be going with is your overall home value and the local real estate market. For example, if the homes in your area tend to sell at lower prices and your initial valuation wasn’t top tier, going for pricey landscaping options might not be the most brilliant move. It’s sure to add curb appeal to your home, but it probably won’t help you turn a positive ROI in the long run. In a situation like this, it’s better to go for cheaper renovations on this list and do some light landscaping that looks good but doesn’t break the bank.
Clara Frey is a long-time real estate agent and freelance writer. She mostly writes about real estate. She enjoys learning new skills and trekking trips with her friends in her free time.